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<personalOpinion> The problem with political or religious discussion is that much of it is irrationally about 'tribes' and self image.

Some positions cannot be easily influenced with mere 'facts' because you're arguing against people's feelings and cognitive dissonance is very powerful.

Bringing politics up on Hacker News will rarely positively influence anyone's opinion but will almost always be divisive and distracting. </personalOpinion>

Sometimes the goal isn't to "convert" people to your political or religious views. There is immense utility in reinforcing that there are intelligent and congenial people (who deserve the benefit of the doubt) that disagree with you on important issues.

I think pushing "controversial" discussions to the edges of polite society has been shown to make us more culturally ignorant.

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