Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's okay to think someone's beliefs are wrong.

This may seem like an odd choice in topic, but lately I've noticed a number of people who seem to feel that if you do not agree with a particular belief, that you think it is wrong, well then you're a bad bad mean person. Alternatively, if you do believe in something, and act sure of it... same result. Either way, you're "acting like a Christian!" Really? Is this our worst insult?

Here's a pro-tip - if you disagree with Christianity on something like hell, or if you believe in a Deity that others (such as some Christians) may reject? Congratulations. You have beliefs that you're sure of, and there are beliefs that you disagree with. And you know what? That's okay. Really. Honestly. You're just like the vast majority of humans.

You know what else is okay (and truly, where the real issue seems to lie)? It's okay to debate beliefs. Yep. Debate is not inherently bad. Debate can bring about better understanding of your own beliefs, and why you hold them - and debate can bring about a better understanding of beliefs that others may have, and why they have them. Certainly we can deeply examine beliefs on our own, without debate, but debate and discussion with others can bring about aspects and ideas we would not come up with on our own. Debate can help us find the holes in our ideas. It's good to have some beliefs that can stand up to a bit of fire, because those beliefs won't crumble away at the slightest shake, they can support us, and grow with us as we learn more.

Now, there's a limit here, sure. Sometimes debating with particular people becomes more energy than it's worth. Maybe they don't really listen to what you say. Maybe they're downright insulting while you feel you're being respectful. Or maybe you find yourself going in circles with a person. Sometimes you have to know when to step away. When the benefits become minimal. It's also nice to keep in mind that there doesn't necessarily have to be a 'winner' and a 'loser.' Both sides are examined, and you may just agree to disagree, no harm done. However, there's no reason to shun debate and avoid it at all costs. Debating something doesn't make someone rude. The people involved aren't necessarily arguing just because they're mean or close-minded. Some debate can be quite healthy for you and your path. It's not a bad thing.

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