Me: we got into a GOOD discussion…that Heather chick is one of those people that I don't like to discuss religion with though…she just makes comments that are so close-minded and disrespectful
Friend: really? interesting. Like what does she say?
Me: she said something like...a person is stupid if they can read the bible and not be overwhelmed with the fact that God is so real
Me: I just had a good time though because I kept questioning everything she was saying...which was why Tiffany started laughing and was like...didn't you go to ACU?!?!
Me: HA HA
Me: then the more i questioned....Tiffany laughed again and was like...dang, it's like you're going to write a paper on it or something
Me: but it was fun because....Tiffany and I both seemed to be coming from somewhat of the same side on a lot of the topics...and Heather kept saying stuff like...well people just can't interpret the bible however they want...it is straight forward....and then she would say something else...that was SOOOO obviously how she interpreted it...and Tiffany or I would be like....well that is how you are interpreting it....and we would laugh...and she would be like...no...that is what it means…and we were like...what makes you think YOU know exactly how it is interpreted
Friend: yeah, right. It is sooooo straight forward. The more I read that thing the more skeptical I become. Which I know is bad. it's all so subjective why the heck does she think there are hundreds of denominations out there
Friend: it's Christianity's own self-destructiveness
Me: i know right…she was so one of those people that is like...my religion is the correct one…she even said something that i can't remember right now that was basically saying that...lol
Friend: Heather is right in her own subjective reality
Me: she is right to her…as i suppose we all are, i guess
Friend: i guess it's not really a question of who's right or who's wrong as much as it is a question of being open-minded
Friend: did you tell her you are agnostic?
Me: no...i didn't come out and say that....i don't like to just throw that word out there to people that don't know me very well because of the connotation that comes with it...and the misinterpretation of it....but i did say something at one point that was that I don't say i believe one way or the other...we were talking about creation vs. evolution
Friend: question -- in what ways do you think throwing it out there brings negative connotations? Is it b/c many people are Christian?
Me: because a lot of Christians have the view that if you're not Christian you are different, or bad, or weird, or something like that…plus... a lot of people, Christian or not, don't know what an agnostic is
Friend: Would that make you a victim of their closed-mindedness if you kept quiet about it? Or would it more help to avoid conflict?
Me: it very well could make me a victim of their closed-mindedness....but i think....i kind of like playing the game to see what all they will say when they are ignorant to my stance on the issue....it's funny to see what people will say about people who aren't Christian....especially when a lot of people assume people are....ESPECIALLY when they know I'm from ACU…it just makes for some fun…HA! they try to cover their closed-mindedness if they find out i'm not Christian…so i like to get their real opinions first
Friend: true -- and especially about the assuming part based of your ACU education
Me: Tiffany...perfect example...with her, "didn't you go to ACU” comment
Friend: it's a nice way to analyze them
Me: we are all so easily influenced...i like to try to take out that third variable
Friend: Do you think it would help to change their view of agnostics, perhaps in a more positive light, if you revealed that you were?
Me: that depends on my relationship with the person…in that discussion group…nah, none of them knew me very well as a person
Me: if it would have brought anything from that group...it probably would have just changed their impression of me as a person, not of agnostism
Friend: sometimes it's just a matter of exposing people to something in order for them to change their faulty views of it
Me: that's true, but it is important to make the exposure in the right context
Me: there was NO way I could have explained agnostism to them in a right light in the limited time we had…that's just one example of having the right context
Friend: it's about weighing it all -- Can I influence their closed-mindedness or will I only contribute to it?
Friend: I've thought about that a lot...it takes a lot of personal awareness...b/c...some people think it's best that they just throw themselves out there to anyone, anywhere, anytime...but really it is important, i think, to make sure it's the right time/place. To make sure that it won't make them think superficially of you/label you -- even if it doesn't matter what they think of you. Sometimes to reach a lot of people I guess, it has to be done tactfully.
Me: i think it comes down to first understanding the person with whom you're sharing information with
Friend: yes, it does
Me: once you know enough about them, such as how they think and how they react to things....you'll know the "right context" to telling them something, or choosing NOT to tell them something
Me: some people are really sensitive....so that is important to take into consideration....some people don't understand psychological things, so that is important to take into consideration...some people hold grudges...that's important....etc.
Friend: you have to judge how they might judge and how that might effect you and your goals in the long run
Friend: Suppose I asked you why would it matter to you what Heather thought about you, what would you say?
Me: i don't like anyone to think negatively of me, if I can avoid it
Friend: exactly, and i think that's what i was tying to get at earlier but didn't...we don't want people to think negatively of us and that, depending on the circumstances, it has the potential to hurt us too.
Me: it is important to note though that i have NO problem with someone not agreeing with me....i just don't want them to think negatively of me because of that disagreement...which is why it is important that i understand a person first to know whether or not they are going to disagree with me or not before i let my opinion out or not
Friend: True -- I agree we should try to know them first