So it seems like these past few weeks there have been a number of topics on religion that have had some in depth discussions. These discussions are certainly good because they give opportunities for people to share their stances on issues and give people opportunities to learn new ways of looking at things as well as learn things about each other.
However, I've noticed that sometimes there can be some tension between people in them as well. That naturally comes with topics so serious and so touchy, and it's usually worth dealing with in order to flesh out the topics...but sometimes I personally get a little overwhelmed with it and it feels like there's some friction and discomfort.
But in one topic it was touched upon how in a lot of cases, people of different thoughts and beliefs get along just fine and can be friends....but how that is rarely talked about because well...I think most people find it boring, they'd rather hash out things in a discussion.
So, I'm making this topic in order for people to get a chance to talk about all of the good things that come from being friends with people who are different from you in some way. Even though I think it's important to have friends very similar to yourself (though of course there are always going to be some differences), I think it's great when different people are friends too.
I'm going to focus my first post primarily in the religion realm, but other people's posts don't have to be about that...you can post about people that have different backgrounds than you, or different personality traits, or different interests, or whatever. The main thing I'd like to see is just a focus on the positive and a focus on things that are different than yourself. It could be things that you learned from that person, or things that you admire about that person, things you enjoy about that person or anything.
For example, I'm a pretty shy and sheltered person, and I tend to uncomfortable with big lifestyle changes. But one of my friends really likes excitement and change and meeting new people, and he likes to dive into new situations. And I'm really impressed by this and I admire him for it.
But anyway, the main inspiration for me creating this topic came from some of these religion discussions that I mentioned. I myself am a Christian, and exactly how devout I am would be dependent upon an outsiders viewpoint. But I like to think that it's an important part of my life and has a big impact on how I view the world.
I've learned a lot from my discussions with atheists, though. I've first learned a lot about myself and how I'm different than some people...namely in that my emotions are a huge part of me and that sometimes they affect my decisions more than my thoughts do. I also learned that a lot of people aren't like this, and their logic and thoughts guide everything they do. It's because of this that I've learned why someone would be an atheist and I've come to respect and understand the viewpoint. I've also come to believe that even though it's not right for me, that doesn't mean that it's not right for someone else to be an atheist.
Because of that I've also learned why some people hold the position that they do on different political issues, and in some cases it's caused me to change my opinions on certain political issues. Despite my own personal religious views, I support ideas such as separation of church and state, teaching evolution in schools and legalized abortion. I've learned that even though I can personally feel justified in my own beliefs that it's important to keep in mind how political matters affect everyone and how when discussing these matters it's important to take an objective viewpoint.
There's more I could say, but I'll leave it at this for now. I don't know if anyone else will have anything to add to this topic, but like I said, it certainly doesn't have to focus on religion...it can be anything positive about someone who's different than you in some way. And I think as *B/DL's, it's very important for us to be able to see the positivity in these differences because one of our biggest frustrations is that our *B/DLism is so different from the average person.