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Religion and Politics.

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21. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Quoting magykal1

b) people have political views based on assumptions that they aren't prepared to question, but deep down know they are assumptions - how many people vote tory/labour/democrat/republican at every single election regardless of whether they agree with what they stand for?

My father was a staunch Republican, voting straight ticket regardless of the candidates and/or issues. (Favorite voting day Mother comment: Your father would vote Republican even if Hitler was their candidate.) I voted for the firt time in 1972 and chose George McGovern. On our way home from the polls (I was driving), Dad commented how pleased he was that I had chosen the right candidate by voting for Nixon. Upon correcting him, he turned the car off (you could do that back then) and tried to make me walk the 2 miles home. It was my mother's car so he made that walk instead.

My brother-in-law is just as dedicated to the party. In his mind, CNN is the only reliable news source and all others are run by the liberal media (not sure what that really means...) who manipulate the truth for their own benefit.

But, back to the topic... With someone having such strong views about a politcal party/candidate/structure, it makes it nigh impossible to conduct a discussion that actually includes an exchange of ideas and/or beliefs. Actually, neither is/was a very religious person so politics became a replacement. Both have/had faith in their politics and one is not to question faith. It is a form of tunnel vision (as defined: Lack of a high-level view of a hypermedia system. Tunnel vision is caused by, among other things, information being presented in small fragments not related to their context. The opposite to world vision.) that does not allow for open debate nor acceptance of contradictory viewpoints.

Again, for most, both politics and religion are a basis of self-definition and worth. In discussing either, one will eventually be asked to explain a statement/action which means evaluating or re-evaluting themselves in the process. As almost every relgious/political thread has also shown, past "indiscretions" are addressed at some point. This adds to the irritation because people would rather ignore the "bad" things then have to explain something for which they may have little personal knowledge.

22. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting tway

When religion has been replaced with politics

In a way, I think religion and politics are both politics.
Religion like politics, is about making rules and philosophies, about how people should live.;)

23. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting tway

Quoting magykal1

Actually, Northern Ireland is fine to talk about, at least at my work in cosy Brighton miles away from Ulster.

Sorry - I mean "you" in the general sense. Should have said "issues one doesn't discuss at work in NI".

I'd guess it would be better if we could discuss the issues, but so long as politics gets people's blood boiling, sometimes you just have to avoid the subject altogether.

Discussing Northern Ireland, at work, when I worked in Dublin, in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Nobody had any objections to discussions about Northern Ireland, but
there was no real need for discussion heated or otherwise. Just about everybody was of the same mind and predominantly craved peace. Beliefs were as follows.
The IRA should stop with the violence.
Ian Paisley is a pain.
The Loyalists pour petrol on the fire.
The catholics in N. Ireland are treated unfairly.
Maybe, we should have N. Ireland back, or maybe it does not matter, because Ireland is now all part of the EU.
People were bored, with the nitty gritty details of it all. What did it matter what was in lengthy peace agreement, the violence should just stop.
People felt relief when the IRA called various cease fires and hoped it would last this time.
etc

It was taken for granted, that everybody believed the above. Only a maniac would not, as far as we were concerned. ;)

24. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting magykal1

But I still think it would be better if we could discuss these issues openly and rationally, keeping them battened up only reinforces that status of taboo and perpetuates them being held purely based on blank opinion and faith.

I think that too. It is better to talk about politics.
If we dont talk about what we want, we take no part, in the deveopment of society. We allow others to run our lives. Society develops, and changes according to how many voices and whose voices are asking for change. It starts with one voice. Then more people who want something and voice this, the more likely it is to happen.
If something happened, and we were being suppressed and subjected to great injustices, then politics would likely become of great interest to us. In a way, terrible things happening in counties and societies cause the most rapid reforms. This is because it is of great interest to people to discuss and demonstrate about politics and they put their energy into it.
When we are comfortable enough and treated relatively well, we dont put any energy into moving society forward, and we move forward very slowly or not at all. This is what happens, when for some reason we dont talk about or dont take and interest in politics. ;)

25. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

It makes no sense to talk to people about religion and politics.

What ends up happening is that you have a very heated dicussion, and at the end of it, both parties are even more firm in their beliefs than before. At the same time they are even more astounded that the other person does not follow their point of view.

Look, have you ever had a discussion that ended with, "You know, I've heard all of your points and you're correct. I'm converting from christianity to islam / labour to liberal forthwith" ?

26. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting james

What ends up happening is that you have a very heated dicussion, and at the end of it, both parties are even more firm in their beliefs than before. At the same time they are even more astounded that the other person does not follow their point of view.

more then true. can't agree with you more

27. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 9y

Quoting james

It makes no sense to talk to people about religion and politics.

What ends up happening is that you have a very heated discussion, and at the end of it, both parties are even more firm in their beliefs than before. At the same time they are even more astounded that the other person does not follow their point of view.

It depends on the conditions. In my family it is normal to have discussions about everything, but the simple rule is, that you have to provide more then just an opinion, you have to be able to tell why you have this opinion. If you say, that something is good or wrong, tell why you think that.

If you say that your country is getting flooded by foreigners, but forget, to mention that more foreigners are actualy leaving your country, than come, then you will be attacked, with not knowing the facts. If you want to have a discussion, then it is only possible on equal terms.

Opinions are not that interesting, it's what makes the opinion, your personal truth, that's the interesting thing. Is the information that you base you opinions on accurate or not?

Talking about religion, makes for difficult discussions, as it can't be reduced to something objective. It does make great philosophical conversations. Politics is hard because in the heat of the argument people can't see that there are more ways to adchieve a goal, and not just one.

I don't agree that it doesn't make sense to talk about religion or politics, but it has to be an open, and fair discussion, and not a fight to win somebody over, or to prove someones wrong.

28. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

Quoting Herr Bert

Quoting james

It makes no sense to talk to people about religion and politics.

What ends up happening is that you have a very heated discussion, and at the end of it, both parties are even more firm in their beliefs than before. At the same time they are even more astounded that the other person does not follow their point of view.

It depends on the conditions. In my family it is normal to have discussions about everything, but the simple rule is, that you have to provide more then just an opinion, you have to be able to tell why you have this opinion. If you say, that something is good or wrong, tell why you think that.

If you say that your country is getting flooded by foreigners, but forget, to mention that more foreigners are actualy leaving your country, than come, then you will be attacked, with not knowing the facts. If you want to have a discussion, then it is only possible on equal terms.

Opinions are not that interesting, it's what makes the opinion, your personal truth, that's the interesting thing. Is the information that you base you opinions on accurate or not?

Talking about religion, makes for difficult discussions, as it can't be reduced to something objective. It does make great philosophical conversations. Politics is hard because in the heat of the argument people can't see that there are more ways to adchieve a goal, and not just one.

I don't agree that it doesn't make sense to talk about religion or politics, but it has to be an open, and fair discussion, and not a fight to win somebody over, or to prove someones wrong.

What happens is that it may begin as an "open and fair discussion", but it invariably disintegrates into a fight to prove who is right and who is wrong. Opinions get thrown around as facts, facts get thrown around that get disputed, and human feelings and emotions get ignored.

Let's use the example of crime statistics. Statistically, let's assume that crime in your country is dropping. However, it may not be dropping in your city, it may be increasing. In fact, violent crime may not be decreasing at all and may be increasing substantially where you live. You were robbed and assaulted and spent three days in hospital. You are now too scared to walk around your own neighbourhood.

The government may have it's facts correct, but all you can go by is your own experience. In fact, you couldn't care less about what the government statistics might say. You are angry and scared. Further, you're hurt that your situation is disregarded and you are simply given statistics. You don't believe them anyway as you think that the government is playing politics....

The discussion then deteriorates as similar discussions do whether it's politics, religion, immigration, or anything that people feel strongly about. Yet opinions were laid out, reasons for having a certain opinion were expressed, facts were laid out.

As I said before, it's not worth having these sorts of discussions.

29. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting tway

I'd guess it would be better if we could discuss the issues, but so long as politics gets people's blood boiling, sometimes you just have to avoid the subject altogether.

Or else, we could develop better communication skills. ;)

30. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting Isadora

My father was a staunch Republican, voting straight ticket regardless of the candidates and/or issues. (Favorite voting day Mother comment: Your father would vote Republican even if Hitler was their candidate.) I voted for the firt time in 1972 and chose George McGovern. On our way home from the polls (I was driving), Dad commented how pleased he was that I had chosen the right candidate by voting for Nixon. Upon correcting him, he turned the car off (you could do that back then) and tried to make me walk the 2 miles home. It was my mother's car so he made that walk instead.

Your father sounds like both of my parents.
When, I voted for Mary Robinson, as president for Ireland, they set me straight, with a lot of nagging and attempts at railroading, but they did not present any valid aruments, about why I voted for the wrong person.