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Are large differences in opinion desirable?

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radamfi

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Is it desirable that people often have large differences in opinion? Does it help make it a better world to live in? Sure it might make it more interesting, but is it desirable? Is the dispute between Arabs/Jews in the Middle East a good thing? What about ISIS/the West? Even people who appear have a lot in common on the surface, such as rail enthusiasts, disagree with such venom on some issues such as DOO.
 
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Xenophon PCDGS

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The greatest danger is to only think of such matters from a British perspective rather than of those intensely involved in such matters.

The views of how the Yazidi people are viewed by the Wahaabist mind-set of ISIL as being somewhat akin to a form of Satan worship is one very recent example of this.
 

Gutfright

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Differences in opinion are what drive society forward - or at least they can be. Innumerable scientific advances have been made because some smart alec has come along and said "I have a different opinion about why X happens". The establishment then say "Ok, smart alec, let's devise an experiment to test your claims". This is the reason we have all the technology, medicine and understanding of the universe we have today.

The problem with the examples you stated (apart maybe from DOO) is not differences of opinion. The problem is that religious people are absolute morons. They don't learn, they don't grow, they don't change, they contribute nothing to humanity. Century after century of intellectually impoverished pathetic drivel. "The invisible sky fairy says this is my land." "No, the invisible sky fairy says he's going to reward me for killing you people. SKY FAIRY IS THE GREATEST!". Boom! Idiots.
 

fowler9

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Is it desirable that people often have large differences in opinion? Does it help make it a better world to live in? Sure it might make it more interesting, but is it desirable? Is the dispute between Arabs/Jews in the Middle East a good thing? What about ISIS/the West? Even people who appear have a lot in common on the surface, such as rail enthusiasts, disagree with such venom on some issues such as DOO.

If people didn't have massive differences in opinion we would still be living in caves because hey, it works. :D
 

NY Yankee

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The greatest danger is to only think of such matters from a British perspective rather than of those intensely involved in such matters.

The British perspective is almost always the correct perspective.

Is it desirable that people often have large differences in opinion? Does it help make it a better world to live in? Sure it might make it more interesting, but is it desirable? Is the dispute between Arabs/Jews in the Middle East a good thing? What about ISIS/the West? Even people who appear have a lot in common on the surface, such as rail enthusiasts, disagree with such venom on some issues such as DOO.

Having a difference in opinion is ok, as long as you respect other people's beliefs and you don't force your beliefs on them. An example is Islam. I'd never pray 5 times a day, refrain from eating pork, and fast during Ramadan. Nevertheless, I respect Muslims who do so. I have no problem with someone practicing Islam as long as they don't abuse the religion and force people to convert.
 

Trog

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The difference of opinion is not as important as what you do about it. The reason the Middle Eastern Sky Pixie arguments cause so much trouble is more to do with the medieval mind set of absolute right and wrong of the people having the argument than the argument itself.
 

Gutfright

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You make an exception for DOO. How does the difference in opinion about DOO make our lives better and happier?

Where did I say that the difference in opinion about DOO makes our lives better and happier?

The difference between DOO debates and religious/ theological debates is that DOO debates aren't based on superstitious nonsense. We can reasonably assume that trains, drivers, conductors, passengers, TOCs etc actually exist, and it could theoretically be productive to exchange ideas about the best way to organise them.

By contrast, there is no logical reason to assume that there is an invisible sky fairy watching us go to the toilet, so religious or theological debates are inherently unproductive and, frankly, quite silly.
 

radamfi

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Where did I say that the difference in opinion about DOO makes our lives better and happier?

The difference between DOO debates and religious/ theological debates is that DOO debates aren't based on superstitious nonsense. We can reasonably assume that trains, drivers, conductors, passengers, TOCs etc actually exist, and it could theoretically be productive to exchange ideas about the best way to organise them.

By contrast, there is no logical reason to assume that there is an invisible sky fairy watching us go to the toilet, so religious or theological debates are inherently unproductive and, frankly, quite silly.

OK, let's put religion/theology to one side.

On the other hand, aren't ideas/philosophies such as DOO/capitalism/socialism etc. etc. basically like religion as people generally support or are against those ideas based on their own gut instinct?

My main beef is that such disputes cause great unhappiness.

Conflict=unhappiness.

I don't see how that is a good thing.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Is it desirable that people often have large differences in opinion? Does it help make it a better world to live in? Sure it might make it more interesting, but is it desirable? Is the dispute between Arabs/Jews in the Middle East a good thing? What about ISIS/the West? Even people who appear have a lot in common on the surface, such as rail enthusiasts, disagree with such venom on some issues such as DOO.

How big does a difference of opinion have to be before you consider it to be 'large'?
 

Bevan Price

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I disagree that religions are silly or based on superstition. In my opinion, the problem is that "religions" and "society" in general are sometimes infiltrated by "the forces of evil". These people adjust & manipulate facts (& beliefs) to suit their own personal (or group) agendas. Moreover, some of them have strong personalities, and are capable of persuading lots of gullible people that "we are right". If they achieve power, they often "eliminate" what they view as "opponents" or "non-believers".

Just recall how easily that Hitler + a few followers persuaded millions of rational Germans to follow a path of great evil (and killed many who opposed them.)
 

Trog

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I disagree that religions are silly or based on superstition.

Interesting, please could you give us a nice concise logical explanation of the difference between religion and superstition? As thicko that I am they seem to be very much the same thing to me.
 

Gutfright

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On the other hand, aren't ideas/philosophies such as DOO/capitalism/socialism etc. etc. basically like religion as people generally support or are against those ideas based on their own gut instinct?

You're right that people do tend to get quite tribal about their beliefs, which isn't really a good thing.

I've never been to China, but I've heard it said that their culture tends to favour social unity over individual self-expression. I guess it makes sense when you have so many people living together that it's not seen as desirable to "rock the boat", but I can't deny that Western society owes so much of its progress to people who were willing to speak out, even if that meant causing conflict with the Church, aristocracy etc.
 

DynamicSpirit

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One that causes conflict and therefore unhappiness.

I don't think that's a good definition of 'large disagreements'. In my time, I've seen conflict and unhappiness caused by disagreements over, for example, which pub a group of friends wishes to visit, or what colour to paint a living room wall, or the precise wording for some paragraph in a technical document. In the big scheme of things, those are arguably completely trivial disagreements, but people still end up getting worked up and unhappy because of them.

Perhaps the issue should be how people respond to the disagreements that people inevitably have?
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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On the other hand, aren't ideas/philosophies such as DOO/capitalism/socialism etc. etc. basically like religion as people generally support or are against those ideas based on their own gut instinct?

I am somewhat amazed to see DOO mentioned above with capitalism and socialism. DOO must certainly have moved into being accepted as a type of system that can govern a country...:roll:
 

radamfi

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Perhaps the issue should be how people respond to the disagreements that people inevitably have?

So how do we get people to interact in a friendly and non-confrontational way when people have such divergent views regarding DOO, politics, religion etc.?
 

radamfi

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See. Look at the last week's news. How do the well publicised differences in opinion help us become happier?
 

LowLevel

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I do get very fed up with religion. 'Do as you would be done by' is as far as I'd ever go with it.

It should have been put to bed when we got into space, but no, people are still being killed over it.
 

DynamicSpirit

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So how do we get people to interact in a friendly and non-confrontational way when people have such divergent views regarding DOO, politics, religion etc.?

Interesting question. I would guess that in part, the answer comes from education: Teaching people about tolerating different views, and how to respond to opposing views by rationally and non-confrontationally exploring what would lead people to hold those views, and to how to use logic rather than insults and cynicism to work out the validity or otherwise of those views. You probably also need a culture-shift in society towards less cynicism and more non-judgmental acceptance of people genuinely holding opposite opinions to one's own - so that responding to different opinions with anger/offence/disbelief ceases to become the norm in society.
 
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Busaholic

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In reply to the original question, I don't have large differences in opinion, so I'm OK.
 
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