Mass debate.

Nicole and I had this wonderfully electric debate about politics and religion last night, and I wanted to share a piece of it with you. It started as a conversation about a friends beliefs, and really got heated when I referred to Nicole as an atheist. Here is an excerpt:

Nicole
I’m anti-religion because of judgment, rules and ceremony. And hypocrisy, that’s a big one.

Bobby
Sure, but you’re not anti-politico.

Nicole
Of course not.

Bobby
You don’t reject politics in the same way you do religion, yet the fundamentals of your beliefs are exactly the same.

Nicole
Humans are too messed up to be left to their own devices. Politics has a practical application.

Bobby
Politics are a structure of control to incite people to behave a certain way and adhere to a certain set of beliefs. Like religion.

Nicole
Politics and religion are completely different systems. One is fantasy, one is practical. I don’t believe in the bullshit pandering of politics. But the laws that “incite people to behave a certain way” are separate from politics. That is the legal system, a whole different story.

Bobby
And politics shape and pervert that system every day.

Nicole
No, lawyers do that. Even the Prime Minister has very little control over the legal system.

Bobby
In the end, the decisions lay in the hands of elected bodies; judges are elected persons as well, not by a majority of the public, but rather by their peers.

Nicole
True, but they remain as judges no matter which political party is in power.

Bobby
True. But they’re bought by the same people that control the houses of senate, congress, etc. Influenced in the same ways as religious leaders influence their congregations.

Bobby
But religion offers people hope. I’d call that practicality.

Nicole
I call it lying.

Bobby
Another parallel to politics.

Nicole
You are confusing electioneering with political change.

Bobby
You are confusing religion with televangelism.

Nicole
Policy, taxes, social services. These are the things that matter in politics. These are the things that help or hurt people.

Bobby
I dare say that more common citizens have been inspired to be kind to each other, take part in their communities by their various religions than their members of parliament.

Nicole
Spirituality, community and charity are possible without the hypocrisy and divisiveness of religion.

Bobby
Very true. But the core value of every religion is that you should treat others in the manner you would like them to treat you. The message is the same from all mouths. And I haven’t seen a single politician in years promote pacifism of any kind.

Nicole
People do what they do because they are good people. Religion doesn’t make a difference. Just as many murderers and child molesters go to church as those who don’t. And just as many good people are atheists as believers.

Bobby
It’s true, I’m not arguing in the favour of religion, I’m merely taking the point that there is a practical application for it.

Nicole
It’s a way for people to feel useful, to believe that no matter what they do with their lives, they are a part of a bigger plan.

Bobby
I agree, and that’s what a lot of people want.


From there it sort of fizzled out, as it was well after midnight – we both began speaking simply of going to sleep for the night. But woo! I’m looking forward to many such conversations in the future.

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Comments
6 Responses to “Mass debate.”
  1. irlandesa says:

    lol… i likeconvos like this with my bf, amazing how much u learn bout one another..

  2. Bobby says:

    I think I may have made her a bit irate… I’m pretty neutral when it comes to these things, I understand that that alone can irk those with informed opinions.

  3. Likalia says:

    No wonder you fizzled after midnight, I fizzled just reading it at 11am with no coffee in me. :)

  4. Bobby says:

    Yeahs, she had already said she was going to bed, and then asked me one last question… which led to this whole thing. It was approaching 1:00 am when we finished.

  5. Nicole says:

    That was quite unfair of you Bobby, springing this conversation on me when I was half asleep and feeling less than eloquent.

  6. Bobby says:

    Well, I certainly didn’t mean it as an ambush, but perhaps I did enjoy it more than you did. I love a good intellectual exchange. And I love you.

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  • About

    My name is Bobby.

    I write about random things a lot. I write a lot about random things.

    I write occasionally for Smashing Magazine and the London Community News online, and weekly for Interrobang, the student voice newspaper at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

    I've also been published by the Canadian University Press.
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