Conversations About God

Polite Company & The G Word

Thanks for stopping by. If you’ve visited my homepage, you’ll have seen I’ve set up this site and started blogging to start see if there’s any interest in starting a new conversation about God. So where better to start than with a look at the difficulties about having conversations about God?

For someone like me who’s spent a big chunk of my life thinking about that question, having conversations about God comes easily, but I’m aware that’s not true for everyone. Perhaps you rarely talk about God, maybe things didn’t go well last time you broached the subject.

Conversations & Tribes

Conversation Tips, a website that heralds itself as a place to go “for great conversation tips and hints, conversation starters, and conversation themes” offers a possible reason why conversations about God, religion and politics in polite company often don’t work out well:

“When our beliefs come under attack, in our heads, so does the tribe we belong to, and, by extension, our very identity. So we go on the counter-offensive, defending what we believe even when it is illogical to do so, and finding reasons why the person we are talking to is wrong. And, put simplistically, our response to such attacks is to either back away and become very quiet, or to go on the offensive and defend the tribe we belong to. The result then, of course, is an argument. In extreme circumstances, the result is a fight. The result is rarely what might be termed a pleasant conversation.”

That makes sense to me. It’s why I think if we’re going to talk about subjects that people hold dear, well, that’s a conversation I’d want to have with as much respect as I can.

A Conversation, Not a Fight

That’s what I’d like this site to be. Like the homepage says, I’m hoping to move the conversation about God on. To me, that means having an open and honest dialogue on what God could be. Respectful of all points of view.

Robert Buckman in his book Can We Be Good Without God? makes a really strong point as he begins to explore the possibility of a world without God when he writes:

“If you happen to have a strong personal belief in an external deity, please let me reassure you that this book is not a veiled attempt to convert you. Examining and discussing various opinions and alternatives in religious matters is (honestly!) no more threatening or dangerous than the process of looking at options and alternatives in politics. […] The existence of a few people—a minority—who do not believe in god is not a threat to the great majority who do…”[1]

I could say the same about this site. Of course, there are some might say this site is a waste of time because there is no God. And they may well be right. There’s some who say we know what God is like already because it’s written in the Holy book of their religion. And they may well be right too. What’s also true is that those of us, and I’m guessing we’re a very small minority, who want to think about what God could be pose no threat to either group.

This site, and everything on it, is simply me wondering out loud if anyone’s thinking about the same things I am.

Of course a conversation about God presumes there is a God, and yes, though I go back and forth on the whole question, I’m mostly forth.

That conclusion’s based on my personal experience, and I’m aware that doesn’t prove a thing and means nothing to you. That’s why I’m not interested in the “Is there or isn’t there?” debate. That we’ve been having it for thousands of years is evidence enough of how pointless it is.

A Taste of Things To Come

Instead, over the coming blogs I’d like to think about issues and questions like “The problem with the word ‘God’”; “Is there room for God in a modern world?”; “What can science add to the God debate?”; “What do religions tell us about God?”; and “Why bother with God at all?”

All that’s ahead, so if you’d like to come along for the ride then sit back, strap yourself in, and get ready… it could be a bumpy ride.

Feel free to leave your comments and ask any question you’d like. I’ll take them up in future posts. Like I said, I’d like this to be great experience for everyone so let’s keep things respectful, helpful and clean.

Take care, j


© Joe Britto and God 4.0, 2013. All rights reserved.

[1] Buckman, Robert, Can We Be Good Without God? Penguin, Canada, 2000. p. 7 – 8.

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