From A Student
Thanks for the advice (LibDem). I do pay attention to what’s being said here, and I enjoy reading what both sides have to say about everything. Oftentimes, watching comments supporting a view I oppose strengthen my own view, or change it, while at the same time enhancing my understanding of what other people think.
So no, I don’t balk at these debates, and from them (and personal experience) I have learned that, when it comes to religion, people’s minds can rarely be changed, and they dislike opposing viewpoints. I’m just glad that I have the ability to accept that other people believe what they do and hope that more and more people will in the future, and beyond having one conversation with someone that is controversial, to leave it alone and let them revise their opinion or simply be enlightened and more understanding and accepting.
As I said in another thread, I’ve spent a lot of time in Catholic, Congregational, and Baptist churches, and they’ve all jabbed at each other at one point or another.
Overall, my view of religion is this: Nobody is right. Nobody CAN be right, considering how many conflicting ideas there are out there. For example, a Catholic priest led me to believe that Catholics should do their best to spread the word of God to nonbelievers, and if they choose to live a more religious life, to help them with their journey, if not, that’s between them and God. I’ve learned at a Baptist church that the nonreligious are poisonous and must be avoided, else they’ll drag me to hell with them. Meanwhile, East Woodstock Congregational is opening and affirming (to gays/lesbians), whereas the Baptists and Catholics are vehemently opposed to that, as is the Eastford Congregational Church, which scorns East Woodstock for not going by the Bible in general.
And these are all Christian churches! If they can’t come in agreement with how God wants us to live our lives, perhaps that gives more credibility to the Atheists; if nobody knows exactly what God’s will is, perhaps that means there is no God and no will of God.
And so, in my head, this is how controversy works. If there’s so much of it, there can’t be a definite answer. I find myself a happier person if I realize that, if I can’t make my own opinion because there’s so much conflicting evidence and plenty of argument for either case, I won’t bother myself thinking about it too much, just do whatever feels right (such as based on picking and choosing certain ideas from each church and forming my own way of doing things and treating others) and not worry about trying to get everyone else to think the same way.
(Last paragraph updated) Of course, if governments worked this way, nothing would ever get done. Oh, wait a minute — they spend their lives bickering day in and day out about “controversial issues” and laying blame and nothing does get done that has any great impact!I hate controversy. We can argue about how to do something, or how to solve a problem, so that the outcome ends up being what is honestly the best thing with all the right intentions and will produce the best outcome for the majority of people, but if the result is mediore and/or really does nothing to change anybody’s lives (such as arguing about religion; living a religion changes people’s lives, not arguing it), it’s worthless to me.