TED Conversations

Jordan Miller

Network Marketing Professional, RevvNRG


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How important is Religion?

How important is Religion in shaping the way society thinks and subsequently acts?

Theology and religion are passions of mine but I notice there aren't to many ted talks on the topics. Why is this? Is there a way to change this? What is the stigma associated with Theology and how can we overcome it as a society in order to speak of it openly? Or perhaps this isn't even a worthy goal? What do you think?


Closing Statement from Jordan Miller

From what I'm able to gather there were 2 main camps of thought.

The camp with fewer people by far was the camp that believed religion was entirely useless and the sooner we're rid of it the better. Thus they believed no discussion on the topic would be helpful or even necessary.

Christophe Cop was (after some prodding) probably the most logical and thought out of this group, he said, "I do not think religion is important when it comes to 'idea worth spreading'..."

The other camp clearly consisted of religious people and non-religious people who advocated discussion for various reasons. and thus believing that it is beneficial to discuss some ideas were brought forth to help that end.

Kathy K brings up a good point, "Still, discussion of the topic is a rare freedom which still exists in this country..."

Bruno Neves speaks of a positive experience he had with a missionary though he does not believe in God and concludes, "long story short, I learned something from him, for we were both very open regarding our beliefs."

The main inhibitor of religious discussions that this group came up with is: people with strong religious or strong anti-religious beliefs refuse to listen to anyone, get defensive and attack the the beliefs of others. Thus the discussion is halted and pointless.

One way that was brought forth to keep this from happening is to only have philosophers and theologians discuss it, but it was admitted that limiting the participants to the scholarly would leave out a quintessential part of the religious experience.

Molly Hanlon summed up what is needed to have an open discussion in this sentence, "It can be done, though, if believers and non-believers stop looking at one another with disgust and contempt but rather with wonder."

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    Feb 16 2011: I agree it's a really important question to bring up in a forum. I'm an active person in many forums, but when religion comes up you see arguments and challenges and sometimes fights.
    i think that is for two reasons : a- the one who participates just attacks and insults the others' beliefs . b- people who are very attached to there beliefs get defensive and considers it as a live or death battle .

    I think the right way for such discussion is as you just said " philosophical and theological must come to the table without the goal of trying to convert everyone but instead with the goal of learning from everyone they hear from and the scientific and unbelieving must recognize the people they talk with are humans with logical brains and that there maybe some merit in faith that they have yet to have recognized. "

    and personally as a Muslim I participate in such forums and topics and I try to change what bad things people think about Islam like (terrorism, ignorance, backward.. etc ) and if someone attacks or try to insult me i just quit the conv without defending back cuz I know that it's not my job to convert anybody.and I believe in freedom and that there is a logical brain everyone has that will lead him to the truth which he is responsible of.

    and really, thanks for bringing this issue up .. many wouldn't do it
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      Feb 17 2011: excellent comment, very good points - it's not anyone's responsibility to convert anyone, only the individual can change his or her mind on any topic.

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