"I Don't Want to Disagree With You"

Jason Dulle

It never seems to fail that when we begin to talk religion and truth with somebody who is already religious in one way or another, the stock response is, "I don't want to disagree with you." This is what I call a conversation terminator. It is what the person says when they no longer want to talk about the issue, either because they do not know how to answer your points, or because they are simply disinterested in truth. Do not let this person get off so easy. The best way to counter a conversation stopper is by asking a question. You may want to ask, "What's wrong with disagreeing? If I said, 'The earth is flat,' would you disagree? Yes, of course. Why? It is because you have good reason to believe that the earth is round, and no good reason to believe it is flat. When we have every reason to believe one thing and reject another, it is our rational obligation to accept the belief supported by reason and reject the belief not supported by reason. Such an obligation demands that we disagree with those who espouse to the belief not supported by reason."

Just as we can evaluate and critique the belief that the earth is flat, we can also evaluate and critique the reasons for what we believe to be true about God. It is only by disagreeing (in a good spirit) that we can bring others to believe true things rather than false things, and that we ourselves will be brought to know more truth.

Charles Caleb Colton once said, "We owe almost all our knowledge, not to those who have agreed, but to those who have differed." It is by differing that we come to know more truth. Disagreement is not bad when it is exercised in the right spirit; rather, it is the avenue to truth.

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