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Nullo's avatar

What does it mean to "have an honest, open discussion about [X]?"?

Asked by Nullo (22009points) September 28th, 2011

I saw a post hereabouts recently where a Jelly expressed a desire for an honest discussion about religion in the wake of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. What exactly is that supposed to mean? To accomplish? How would it work? Who would be involved? Who wouldn’t be involved?

I ask because the whole exercise (based on extrapolations of the term ‘discussion’) seems kinda pointless.

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20 Answers

Haleth's avatar

What it says on the tin. An honest, open discussion.

the100thmonkey's avatar

“Open and honest” strikes me, in the context given above, as “no holds barred Islam/religion-bashing”.

Jellie's avatar

Agree with @the100thmonkey. I would take that as the OP to mean: I’m going to bash Islam and you better be okay with it.

Buttonstc's avatar

Link, please.

augustlan's avatar

I’d have to see it in context to really know. Generally, I take it at face value: An open, honest discussion.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yeah, I’m going with @the100thmonkey too. I hate to be cynical but “honest and open” generally seems to mean that one party has an agenda and doesn’t really appreciate it when people who disagree are “honest and open.”
But, in this instance, where you are referring to a particular question, from a particular person her, I would have to see the context to be sure about that.

Hibernate's avatar

I’m not sure. Better ask that particular person.

starsofeight's avatar

Basically, a euphemism. A lot of ingredients, but still no soup.

Open and honest cannot work between protagonist and antagonist. It cannot work between two antagonists, but, there is a very slight chance it might click between two protagonists.

picante's avatar

I’ve come to loathe the phrase “open and honest.” For me, it signals that the other party is positioning him/herself to say anything. I think that might be the “open” part. Polarization of opinions and the freedom to express same are all the rage now. And rage is all the rage now. I’d rather have a cautious and cliched discussion, but that’s just me.

TexasDude's avatar

A lot of people use “honest, open discussion” as a kind of buzzphrase that really means “we are going to tell you why we are right.”

At least that’s how I’ve seen it used a lot.

Coloma's avatar

I dunno, my intent when I hear “open & honest”, means the ability to explore and express and chew the fat, so to speak while really LISTENING, being thoughtful and not automatically dismissive if anothers POV. Not playing games, getting overly emotionally attached to the right/wrong polarities, and genuinely striving for better understanding and a more well rounded or refined.

Truthfully, this can only occur between those that truly are capable of a measure of humility and open mindedness, in other words, it’s rare. haha

tom_g's avatar

Is this question about something I said?...

”...start an honest conversation about religiosity and modern society…”

Nullo's avatar

@tom_g That’s the one! I’ve been looking for that since yesterday. Doesn’t help that ‘religion’ gets 380,000 hits.

Would you kindly explain yourself?

tom_g's avatar

Ok, just kidding (kind of). I am on self-imposed temporary hiatus from religious-themed questions here on fluther.

At this point, my answer will just serve to enrage many of the theists on this site, which will in turn emphasize my point about the inability for us to have an honest discussion about religion and modern society.

I’ll just leave it as this – have you every read any Sam Harris? Let’s just say that I completely agree with him when he advocates what he calls “conversational intolerance”. That’s all I can say right now. That and, maybe the concept of “open conversation” is conversation in which the concept of being offended has no place. Have fun.

Note: I understand this it’s a copout to just say, “I like what he says,” but I just can’t do it right now.

flutherother's avatar

As opposed to a dishonest discussion about religion?

zenvelo's avatar

To me an “open and honest conversation” means that both sides agree to not attack the other, but also to not be offended by what one side or the other says.

One can be honest by not holding back one’s thoughts in fear of hurting the other side. At the same time people are open by being open minded enough to listen and consider the other person’s thoughts.

In reality, I think an open and honest conversation is a rarity.

Like @tom_g, I am staying away from religious conversations on Fluther for a while too.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I think that most of the greatest and/or most tragic events in history of the world has somewhat had to do with religion.

I think this person wants an “Honest” discussion concerning the differences as percieved by each individual type of religion involved within the scope of the events of 911.

What do the Jews think about the Muslems, what do the Christians think about the Jews *Which SHOULD be obvious but isn’t always… and what do the Muslims thing about the Christians as well as the Jews.

Some pertinent questions might include:
1. Do Muslim countries feel picked on or singled out due in direct porportion to the bond between the Jewish people and the US allies?
2. Do the Muslims even understand or realize how very similar their own religion is when compared to the Torah?
3.Why did 911 happen? WHo was being punished exactly and for what?

I think that if people weren’t as influenced by the media as we are on both sides of the pond actually *because Aj Jazera is bullshit, but so is our own media source too… As well as the Israeli news sources… They basically leave out pertinent information and create the seperation and distance that is just enough for opinion to over ride facts pertinent to individual understanding on a human level.

The media encourages and exploits a human tendency to deindividualize and join within group mindsets where the people are not heard… but instead herded.

THis question I therefore believe is asking people to split from groups and to converge from a place of each unique perspective looked at the entire spectrum politically, ethically as well as individually only through the lens of religion.

Which like it or not… has everything to do with everything!

Nullo's avatar

Just to clarify, I’m mostly interested in the meaning of the term, particularly as it was used in that context.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

What I take from it, is that who says it desires an honest assessment of whatever the subject is, and not one along party lines or adamantly failing to even view the reason or evidence if it squashed their sacred cows, as what happens here frequently. Since you mentioned religion I will use that as an illustration but it is not the only thing it can be applied to. Some have such a repugnancy against religion, especially any in which God is the head they can’t bring themselves to fathom anything other than it is a hoax, and those believing in it are brainwashed. The suffering and mayhem caused in the world that has nothing to do with religion or the church they will defend as still not being as bad as religion or the church. To look at the facts as clearly that, they will only consider facts that bolster their outlook, un able to have an open honest conversation about it and letting the facts land as they will.

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