Molly Hanlon Posted about 3 years ago How important is Religion? Yes, you're correct in saying that both sides are needed. You can't have a debate based upon variations, you need opposing viewpoints. I have a hard time having conversations with my friends oftentimes because my question of "Why?" is often met with "Because I believe." This goes back to the filling the gaps argument that has been referenced many times. Only open minds can lead to open discussion, and I found the comments made my Lesley Hazelton about faith (http://blog.ted.com/2011/02/15/uncertainty-touches-the-best-of-what-is-human-in-us-qa-with-lesley-hazleton/) extremely important in this regard. It seems as though these debates and progressive conversations won't necessarily happen regularly between lay-people, as those with opposing viewpoints don't tend to gravitate toward one another, nor can they stand each other long enough to have a beneficial conversation. It can be done, though, if believers and non-believers stop looking at one another with disgust and contempt but rather with wonder. I tell some of my friends that I'm intrigued by their religious dedication and, as a scientist, like to figure out the answers to questions, thus they're great "experiments."