Archive for January, 2012

Beyond Twitter Length Reply To Joanna Brooks (@askmormongirl)

January 2, 2012

So Joanna Brooks (@askmormongirl) asked the question on Twitter yesterday:
if you had to convince a 23 year old that a religious / faith / spiritual life was worth the investment, what would you say?
Over the night she retweeted various answers (one of mine included).  I think about things like this a lot because I find human nature puzzling.  Most of the answers Joanna retweeted seemed to me like the writers of the original tweets already believed in God and religion and was merely waiting for someone to get them an address; something like a radio contest where the first caller would get the prize.  Others responded as if matters of faith were as easy to convince people of as the benefits of a healthy diet. 
Later in the night after I was already asleep @msdefarge replied with what I thought was the best answer to the question:
if you had to convince a 23 year old that a religious / faith / spiritual life was worth the investment, what would you say?
The answer didn’t assume anything beyond the attitude of the person answering which is all that can really be done.  If matters of attitude, values and belief could be resolved with appeals to logic many of the world’s issues would have been resolved a long time ago. Religion and politics would no longer be an issue and, I suspect, we would all be wearing silver jumpsuits and travelling the universe looking for other species that are ready for contact with a species not of their planet. 
What I believe the fact of the matter is that the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the time, common beliefs, assumptions and values in America are disappearing.  There used to be a mainstream that politicians could appeal to that allowed us to make general assumptions about certain things that can no longer be made.  Like all things this change in the American culture this change is a double-edged sword. 
The bottom line is that there is no one way to convince people of anything.  Sharing of deeply held personal beliefs, if done sparingly and in an appropriate setting, has a unique effect on other people’s attitudes but the essence of opinion is that individuals don’t change their mind about something until they want to and what other people say almost always plays the smallest part in that process.  
Advertisements