I love nothing better than interacting with those rare religious people who don’t feel the urge to push their religious ideas on me. I usually learn a lot and can gauge their ideas without feeling like there is a power dynamic. Why it seems difficult to be both religious and laid-back in one’s approach to sharing one’s ideas is an ongoing puzzle. Any element of coercion about one’s beliefs tends to cause an opposing, resisting reaction in others. Yet, many religious people don’t see it. Much more can be accomplished when you let people discover your religious ideas, after observing how you talk and behave. The power of example communicates more effectively than insisting. (I admit my hypocrisy at not being able to shut up on many topics, too, but none of mine have the underlying threat of eternal loss of soul for disagreement!)
“Truth that is “self-evident” doesn’t need a fist in the face to convince anyone.” – x
Where opinions rule, it is best to avoid the temptation to pontificate, insist, or eye-roll. Like it or not, religious beliefs are indeed opinions. I’ve written many, many times about the breadth and complexity of religions and ideas in the world. It is a presumption to insist that your particular idea is the “one” which is correct above any other. Millions of people spend their lives studying and thinking about all sorts of religions, yet despite all the intelligence being directed toward religion, a startling array of religions, denominations, and ideas remain, many wildly incompatible with the others. Despite this ongoing intellectual disagreement, some people still pound the table with religious condemnation when presented with an opposing opinion. Quite a few others resist being vocal about their dislike of people thinking they are wrong, but this dislike of opposing religious viewpoints quite often fuels indirect behavior with the intention of quashing doubts in other people.This is one of the many reasons secular societies are preferable to religious ones.
(“After decades of thinking about it, basic capitalism and most religions aren’t compatible without considerable strain on the definition of both sides of the comparison.” – x )
The urge to preach and insist on correctness is too strong for a lot of people. This is the kind of religionthink I don’t like. (To have no doubts, and not think twice about having the power to force your particular concepts on everyone else, usually with arguments about undeniable truth or the obviousness of your claims.) To many, it would never occur to them that they could be wrong about many of their ideas or that they were guilty of some of the sins their own religions would accuse them of. Many know that they must affably claim to recognize their own shortcomings but privately know that theirs is the proper course.