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Farokh Shahabi Nezhad

CEO & Co-Founder at Idearun, TEDxTehran

TEDCRED 20+

This conversation is closed.

Is there any way to prevent religious debates from turning into a big fight?

People discuss lots of things, politics, sports, anything
But when they discuss religious opinions, most of the time, they get all angry and try to win even with fight.
why is that? why that can't be a normal subject?
and more important, How can we prevent this?

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Closing Statement from Farokh Shahabi Nezhad

Tnx everyone for their replies. I enjoyed learning from different aspect for this problem.

I can only conclude this : Don't argue with someone unless they are open minded and ready to be changed and challenged.

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    Feb 20 2013: Probably difficult to have a meaningful conversation when one party believes they have the absolute truth about everything from gods and goddesses down to what to eat and how to manage slaves.
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      Feb 20 2013: No more difficult than having a conversation--meaningful or otherwise--with those who're equally convinced that "gods and goddesses" don't exist.

      I have seen the Niagara Falls of what some would call the supernatural, and the supernatural equivalent of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Colossus of Rhodes--all the Seven Ancient Wonders of our Supernatural existence and more.

      One thing I've learned from my many excursions into the Astral World (so named by occultists and mystics), the only Absolute is the Abode of God--all other loci, and truth, are open to the individual and collective creative power, and energy, of consciousness, including the realm in which we're currently residing.
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        Feb 20 2013: True - confidence you have the absolute truth on any side of an argument is difficult to deal with.

        Although most non theists I know, don't claim to know gods or goddesses don't exist. But suggest they have a reasonable case that there is no compelling evidence for the existence of Zeus, Maduk, Yahweh, Allah, Isis or any other theistic or more generic deistic interpretation. Seems reasonable they don't have a belief in these gods, but good to be open to new evidence.

        Others are more certain.

        I do find it funny that with 6 billion living slightly to completely different religious supernatural belief systems today and many others held by those who have fallen, the odds are your particular religious or spiritual view is wrong completely or in part.

        Your experience sound wonderful and powerful. I might have a different working hypothesis as an explanation but its a wonderful part of the human experience. Perhaps for some, these or possibly related experiences may be out of control and they find it difficult to function in society.

        But even dreams are pretty cool. Just familiar and frequent so we tend to take them for granted.

        If an experience is enriching and hurts no one, perhaps the interpretation is not such a big deal.

        I guess I haven't had all the experiences such as yours, but do meditate and enjoy the different consciousness states I experience. I have also had amazing visions and hallucinations and one OOBE but discount some due to my state of mind at the time.

        Whether it is just going on in our brains, or we actually travel or contact other realms outside our mind, its pretty cool.
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          Feb 20 2013: "I guess I haven't had all the experiences such as yours, but do meditate and enjoy the different consciousness states I experience."

          With rumination, one quickly realizes that "consciousness" is the Alpha and Omega of existence. Without it, nothing exists. With it, all possibilities present themselves.

          Meditation, the act of going within, opens us to those possibilities, as it concentrates consciousness, and the vast energy stored within it.

          "I have also had amazing visions and hallucinations and one OOBE but discount some due to my state of mind at the time."

          As humans, we have all the potential of the divine, and, as such, are unlimited in all our ways, and capable of knowing all there is to know, and being all we choose to be.

          "Whether it is just going on in our brains, or we actually travel or contact other realms outside our mind, its pretty cool."

          Oh, the stories I could tell, and the wonders I have experienced, but, alas, few will believe or accept my tale, either because they're predisposed to disbelieving, or because it's too amazing to ponder.

          You're right: "it's pretty cool," by any standard of coolness.
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      Feb 20 2013: Yeah the details are very frustration specially when they can't accept to change their beliefs.
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        Feb 20 2013: Obey and Farokh,
        You have hit on an important factor regarding religious debates turning into a big fight.

        Obey, you write..."Probably difficult to have a meaningful conversation when one party believes they have the absolute truth about everything..."

        Farokh, you write..."details are very frustration specially when they can't accept to change their beliefs".

        I observe that the biggest struggles are when one person not only thinks s/he has all the answers, but ALSO tries get the other person to accept it as THEIR belief as well.

        Obey, as you say...no meaningfull conversation can evolve when one person thinks they have all the answers. They communicate as if THEIR truth has to be everybodys truth....and they are on a mission to convince us that they are "right". Nothing can come from that behavior except struggle. Trying to change the other person's belief because they think/feel they are "right" contributes to struggle. When one person in a conversation begins to struggle (fight) , it is common for the other person to struggle and fight to maintain their own perspective, and that is when the conversation beaks down.

        We CAN accept a belief as another person's belief without embracing it as our own belief. We CAN be open to thoughts, feelings, perceptions, ideas and opinions of others, without trying to pressure another person to believe as we do. To do that, one has to let go of the idea that our truth, or answer, is the one and only "right" information.

        Everything is information....sometimes learned....sometimes proven....sometimes speculation....sometimes beliefs for which there is no proof. Each and every one of us will take the information from our experiences, including what we have been taught by parents, society,etc., and use that information as we choose. We KNOW individuals have different experiences. We KNOW there is information passed down through families, societies, religion, cultures, etc. I experience the differences as interesting:>)
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          Feb 21 2013: "It seems like this conversation got hyjacked to NDE/OBEs rather than the topic question....
          "Is there any way to prevent religious debates from turning into a big fight?""

          Of course, you'll see it the way that you see it, and that's your perogative, but these discussions are playing out the question, can we have religious discussions, some of which include a notion of an afterlife, NDEs and OOBEs (which suggest such), the existence of a God, or what have you, and do so respectfully?

          If you take the time to re-read some of the comments, you'll find that yes we can sometimes, but not all the time.

          No thread was "hijacked," as you've accused, and I say that respectfully.
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          Feb 21 2013: "To do that, one has to let go of the idea that our truth, or answer, is the one and only 'right' information."

          I agree: There are as many "truths" as there are people on the planet. I think that it's the proselytizing, the almost relentless attempt to make others believe as you believe that creates the tension, especially when it's coupled with derision, or a denouncing of one's stated position.

          I believe that I can respect what you and others believe while at the same time still holding that my position is the "one and only 'right' information."
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          Feb 21 2013: "We CAN accept a belief as another person's belief without embracing it as our own belief"

          Good advice.

          During an actual discussion or debate it is rare for someone to admit or accept another point of view makes more sense. Kind of like losing face. Sometimes we argue not to be wrong, to win the argument rather than to test and examine ideas.

          But then on private reflection afterwards some things might stick and make more sense. Perhaps you can only delude yourself so long when in your heart, or unconscious you find a view counter to the one you espouse seems more correct, even if you argue against it.

          There was a stage before I fully renounced my previous religion that I was arguing for the religion, while privately having my own doubts. I'm a bit embarrassed it took me so long to realise I was completely mistaken.

          According to some speakers at my old church Henry Kissinger is the anti Christ and the second coming is already late. I guess some Christians have been waiting for the second coming for 2000 years, and expecting it in their lifetime.

          It is tempting sometimes to jump in and feel you have been there done that and perhaps frustrated others can not see what you saw years ago. Hurry up and catch up - its obvious. To be dismissive of peoples own realisations will or wont happen in their own time.

          One humbling realisation I had was my views over the years have changed a lot. Revolutionary say 10 years ago and refined over the last few,. I like to think they have improved and broadened. IF I was having a discussion with myself from a few years ago I might find the views of my old self some what simplistic. And perhaps in a few years I will look back at my current views, that I put forward in discussions earnestly, and think how naive I was.
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        Feb 21 2013: Thanks Obey:>)
        I'm interested in examining/exploring ideas. To me, the life experience is a wonderful exploration, so I wouldn't deny myself more information by thinking/feeling that I have all the answers. Often times, as soon as people think they have the answers, they stop exploring. I'm going to be open to new information as I take my last breath in this earth school:>)

        With that in mind, I see no reason for your embarrassment Obey. You know, when I was young, I used to think that by a certain age, things in life would sort of be in order. I got to that age, and realized that is wasn't how I had planned! Ok....next stage will be in order. OOPS....when I got to the next stage/age, it wasn't as planned either....on and on. At different stages in the beginning, I often asked myself....."why didn't I know that BEFORE".....how embarrassing that I did not figure that out sooner!!! LOL

        In my 40s/50s, I finally realized that it was the journey, and all I'm experiencing and learning along the way that is important. I no longer try to project into the future. I live one moment at a time. That is not to say that I do not PLAN for the future. It simply means that I realize that life is what happens when we're making other plans...LOL!

        I enjoy your comments Obey.....it "feels" like you are genuinely exploring life, and I admire that practice:>)
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      Feb 20 2013: Don't you think, this frequently applies to those who take pride in being "rational"?

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