I have always been a firm believer in "each to their own". If someone has different beliefs than I do it doesn't worry me at all. Why should it? In fact usually I listen politely and let them explain what they believe (if that is what they want) and don't judge them. If their belief is that the moon is oblong I assume they have a good reason for it and leave them to it.
I don't believe in a God, any God and for some reason because of this when the said person has finished telling me about their beliefs they sometimes try to attack mine. This bothers me a lot. Not once during their "Why I believe" speach did I interrupt with, "No, I am sorry but you must believe what I think because.... ".
I am not saying that I hate people who believe in God or in fact that I hate people who try to impose their beliefs on others, because I think we are all guilty of that be it religious or otherwise. What I am saying is that I don't like it when people don't treat me with the same respect I treat them with.
My most memorable example of this was while I lived in student accomodation whilst at Glasgow University. There were 5 girls in the flat, one of whom, Pauline, was a devout Christian. All the other girls got on at her and took the mickey, but I didn't. I left her to it.
Then one night we were alone watching television, and the subject came round to why we were doing what we were doing at University. I was studying computing and physics. Pauline was studying computing and maths. She began to explain that whilst at school she developed an interest in physics and geography and that is what she originally wanted to do. I asked her what happened, as I myself had chose to do astronomy at University originally so I knew how things could alter your opinion.

"Well", she started, "I believe in God, and I realised that if God existed then the theorys behind physics and geography were wrong"
. I didn't really know what to say as people had dedicated their life to finding these theories (Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage, etc) but that was her belief and she was entitled to it. Then she started to have a go at me.

"You shouldn't study physics, it is all rubbish", and, "You must believe in God, you will go to Hell if you don't".

I didn't know what to do as I certainly didn't want to insult her beliefs (even though she was insulting mine) so I sat like an idiot.
Perhaps I am too meek but I would like to think that I give people a fair go, I think people should do the same. I didn't really talk to her after that.....

Debates on value systems or anything people strongly believe in are absolutely useless. Nothing productive has ever come of it. A case in point-religion and politics.

Atheism vs. Religion is a good example of an absolutely useless debate with the same arguments parroted in each and every incarnation. Both sides are too stubborn to have their beliefs changed by the other. There have been numerous debates I have gotten into where I have effectively lost, but still came out with my same opinions intact.

Politics. You can present the most logical opinion and not change someone’s mind. By this criticism I do not mean political debates candidates for office partake in or the news, because it is important to see all sides. Rather I am referring to small scale discussions among “friends”, coworkers or ridiculous 1 a.m. college student debates. Debates that don’t exist for the sheer purpose of examining an issue or showing people all sides of an argument, but merely for the sake of argument.

These types of arguments are not for any specific purpose. You can’t prove anything, you can’t change someone’s mind.

Suppose a woman finds out I’m hiring a stripper for a friend’s bachelor party (I’m not). If her belief is that it is disrespectful to the wife because they are about to seal the deal on the most important relationship of their lives, reasonable. But if it turns into an argument about women in general I tune out. My belief is that the women (and men) who choose to become them have no illusions as to the kind of working conditions they will face. But you know what? I don’t have to defend my belief. I’m not doing anything illegal by holding my opinion, I’m not defending myself in a court of law. I told the person I would not argue, because we’re both so stubborn in our beliefs we will only succeed in making each other angry. Why do I need to be lambasted for my own opinions?

When someone disagrees with me I take it at face value-not everyone shares my opinions. Fine. I wasn’t going to give her the pleasure of arguing.

Those angry arguments exist for one sole purpose-to anger and belittle people who do not share your opinions. What if she is smarter than me-do I need to feel stupid or inferior because of my beliefs? I can believe anything I want without a reason. Don’t even try to stop me. I’ve heard everything there is to hear about chauvinism. I hold my beliefs for a reason. Maybe an illogical reason. Maybe no reason at all. But that’s my prerogative, so go away.

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