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That is exactly why I only have these kind of discussions face to face and with people I trust. More than trust, maybe I'd say I'm comfortable with. Anonymity is great for some things but not for having a conversation about politics.

And my reason to talk about these topics is to learn and understand them better! Many times the other person might not have a formed opinion (so we both "learn" or at least share what we know), the person knows about the topic (I learn) or that person has a one-sided view of the topic and just wants to play politics (run!). Always with a super-skeptic point of view of course, so my learning is NOT what they are explaining/teaching but still related to it. And after talking about it we can accept we have different points of view and still being friends.

I don't feel identified in your extreme examples so I'll put one of my own. I'm a strong atheist but I'm probably quite knowledgeable about several religions after years reading. First (when I was a teenager) I was kind of what you describe, trying to find flaws and argue about it. Then I started to ask myself, "wait why so many people believe?" which also led into being interested in psychology.

Now I have a quite decent picture about Japanese and east Asian cultures and religions and Spanish and Western ones. This allows me to understand why there's basically no vegans in Asia, why they overwork so much, family and relationships, etc. In turn this allows me to have more meaningful conversations and keep broadening what I know. The opposite would be those people who go to Japan and stick their chopstick in their meat (;




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