Episode 120: Why We Hesitate to Discuss Our Beliefs

I think it’s better to have ideas. You can change an idea, changing a belief is trickier. Life should be malleable and progressive; working from idea to idea permits that. Beliefs anchor to certain points and limit growth; new ideas can’t generate. Life becomes stagnant.
— Chris Rock as Rufus in the movie "Dogma".
You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.
— C.S. Lewis

Especially in recent weeks, many of us have been confronted by the realities which operate in spite of, beneath and because of our beliefs. We have been forced to engage in dialogue with those who do not share our perspectives and the clash of numerous systems of belief has been prominent in our discourse as a society. But even under less confrontational circumstances, many of us do not share our beliefs. This week we welcome Mark Ashin to examine why beliefs represent such vulnerability in us and what we might gain in more honest, respectful discussion of what we believe and why we believe it. How could more open discussion promote more empathy? Are some of our most strongly-held perspectives so deeply woven in our subconscious that we cannot articulate them clearly? Is there a judgment inherent in the crossroads of beliefs that do not align with one another?