Religion and Polite Conversation

Should topics of religion be avoided in casual conversation? No, says Rick Pimentel in the latest article for Table Talk. Religion is a topic of “ultimate concern” as Paul Tillich argued and such topics should be discussed and debated. Many of us may avoid topics of religion is polite conversation because the topic consists of ideas we may know little about or believe can never be settled. But the focus of religion concerns ideas that many of us care deeply about. What does it all mean? Is there an afterlife? Are we alone in the universe? These concerns are profound and, while we may seek to avoid them, we cannot escape them. Rick writes,

Religion’s importance lies in the fact that it deals with ultimate issues; matters that are fundamental to human life such as the existence of God, death, morality, meaning of life and human behavior. These issues are a fundamental concern and understanding them appear to be necessary for flourishing in this life. . . . Religion can be hotly disputed and sometimes this can be discouraging or even repulsive to some but the fact that it is hotly disputed should not excuse us from pursuing an understanding of religion and how it fundamentally affects our lives.

Read the full article here.

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