Discussion of religion should not be a taboo

Victor Martelle –Tech. Director

I have taken a hypocritical stance writing this piece as I don’t bring up religion in everyday conversations, let alone with close friends. Lately, even with politics seemingly given the permission to enter everyday close conversation, you probably haven’t ventured that far out either. Religion is more taboo to converse about over most other major topics — heck, more so than even discussing that weird sex fetish you have. Nonetheless, what bothers me is not just why, but how has this become the status quo?

If respectful conversation could be had, and learning new things was a goal, I believe discussion of religion would take front seat. Respectful conversation can be had with some effort, so perhaps the lack of seeking truth and learning is the key problem. If “No, I love learning new things!” is a response of many (including myself), then I wonder, and will put forward: is religion so embedded with our identity that we are afraid of it shattering? Is this hindering our ability to converse with one another? If we want to learn new things and be closer to truth, it shouldn’t be! While a certain system may be your foundation, adjusting said foundation can lead to stronger self-building.

The path to truth is through respectful, thought-provoking discussion. Every day without challenging your encompassing belief system is a day of the mind wasted. Religion itself hits on major tenets of philosophy, and therefore will surely open new roads within.

However, new foundations and untrekked roads bring new fear. The fears of new truths and the unknown are difficult for many. But shouldn’t we welcome these things? If we always thought the moon was brightening our skies instead of the sun, and later learned it was the sun, shouldn’t this be a welcoming fact? Moreover, if we learned that parts of our thinking could be wrong, our “tools in the mind-toolbox” being used incorrectly, should we not strive to use them correctly?

The fear of not knowing is a simpler case. Is there an ultimate truth? Are we not just brains in a vat? What’s the meaning of my life? I don’t know–and that’s perfectly fine. I won’t sit here and try to defend an answer solely because it conflicts with one of my other held principles. Let go, and calmly take time to think about it, and better yet, discuss that idea with others.

The path to your truth is carved through years of sharpening your tools to build that foundation. It took years for believers and the inverse to reach their conclusions, and discussion of these diverse conclusions may lead to an overarching truth.

Once we get comfortable with saying “I don’t know,” not only will religious discussions become easier, but so will everyday conversations about politics, and perhaps even that weird fetish as well.