From: Vincent Campbell (VCampbell@dmu.ac.uk)
Date: Fri 28 Feb 2003 - 13:28:41 GMT
<It's probably best to avoid religious or political topics in the
I tend to think that, assuming you're in a country where free speech is at
least vaguely tolerated, religion, politics, and sex (oh, and memetics :-))
are the only things worth talking about. Why? Because people tend to feel
really strongly about at least one of these, and engaging them in discussion
gives a good insight into who they are, and them of you.
Otherwise conversations are really only coded versions of these kind of
issues anyway- i.e. office politics conversations often impliclity reveal
people's views on gender, hierarchy, individualism etc. etc.
The two exceptions to the rule are a) when in a country where talking free
means not walking freely (or at all) and b) when the context requires some
common sense, largely again to avoid not getting out of their alive.
I was disappointed by Marsha giving up on her work colleagues, and also on
her refusal to read the Bible- fear of the unknown is what gives religion
its basis in the first place, and their's nothing to be frightened of in
religious texts if you don't believe them to be revealed truth. There is,
however, quite a lot to be learned about the mentality of believers, and of
the founders of faiths. If the fear is the 'what if they're right and i'm
going to hell?', and you can't get out of that mindset, then I'd actually
advise making the leap of faith (didn't someone famous regard this as a good
bet- Voltaire? Descartes? Someone else French?).
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