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Jude's avatar

If you disagree with someone on many fronts (religion, politics, and, well, they have their prejudices); if given the choice, would you want to have anything with them?

Asked by Jude (32131points) February 16th, 2012

They make attempts to get to know you; would you avoid them or tell them where to go?

I say this because I have had someone who’s been wanting to chat it up and I have disagreed with pretty well everything that they’ve said on Fluther.

Should I share my feelings with them or ignore them?

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43 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Perhaps if you explore a little further, you will find some commonalities. Or you could just tell them how you feel about what they’ve posted and see what happens.

syz's avatar

I tend to socialize and spend time with those with similar philosophies. I don’t have that choice when it comes to family and coworkers. And no, my tendency would be to “ignore”.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Personally, I learn more from people that are different than I am. I learn more about myself from people that are less like me.

Maybe that’s just me? I grew up in a bar, surrounded by people I would never choose to befriend if I’d met them in some random place on the street. What I learned from almost all of them is that we have similarities. I also gained empathy and perspective from their life stories.

Here in Fluther, I’ve gained perspective. I’m working on using this platform to gain more objectivity and utilize it more. I realized how subjectively I was handling real life situations at home. Fluther is like a college course for my brain.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m not interested in being everyone’s friend and no, I would not chat it up.

Nullo's avatar

Go ahead, it’ll be interesting, provided that the gulf of your difference doesn’t lead to screaming fits.

Lightlyseared's avatar

People are more than just the sum of their prejudices. Whether I like someone or not often has nothing to do with their religion (for example fundamentalist atheists are just as annoying as fundamentalist anything else), their politics or anything else. Nor do I want to be surrounded by people who think just like me (mainly because I am beginning to suspect I’m a sociopath) and agree with everything I say. Mind you if they’re annoying and I don’t want to be friends I’m not going to put any effort at all in to talking to them.

Blackberry's avatar

I wouldn’t turn someone away like that. I would still want to know them. If we still end up not being compatible, at least we tried.

wundayatta's avatar

Honestly, I don’t know. If you can find a place of respect and ask each other to explain their views and not argue about it point by point, then maybe there is something to be gotten out of it. Or, conversely, if you argue step by step and you both enjoy arguing, then there is that entertainment factor. Or maybe you can call each other names in a sort of self-aware way (Jane, you ignorant slut, from SNL) and that can be fun.

But mostly what’s the point? The person stands for the opposite of what you stand for. Your right is their wrong and vice versa. How can you respect each other? How can you like each other? Is there any common ground?

tinyfaery's avatar

Haha. There is a Morman girl where I work who I seriously disagree with on soo many issues, but she is funny and makes work more tolerable. I try not to think about who she truly is. She’s just my work buddy.

She tried to friend me on Facebook, but I told her it was probably not a good idea.

Having said all that, I would never want to hang out with her outside of work.

Nullo's avatar

@tinyfaery Don’t worry, last I checked, Mormons aren’t horrible people.

auhsojsa's avatar

How could I understand my point of view, if I don’t fully understand their point of view is my philosophy. I would chat it up only if it were for my benefit of research otherwise I have nothing to prove in life and I’m as free as a bird.

flutherother's avatar

I can like people even if I don’t agree with them. If you are each tolerant of the others views it needn’t be a problem.

Aethelflaed's avatar

In real life, sometimes. On Fluther, usually not, because without being able to tell their tone, it’s just harder to build a relationship.

PhiNotPi's avatar

How I react to a person’s ideas depends on how that person reacts to my ideas. If he completely rejects me and calls me stupid, I will probably do the same to him.

cookieman's avatar

Depends. If their views are simply different than mine, but generally benign… Sure why not.

But if they’re hateful… No.

filmfann's avatar

I have several friends that I disagree with on nearly everything.
I think it is important to get a different opinion. How else can you be sure you are on the correct side, if you cannot defend it?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

There are several jellies with whom I disagree on almost every topic, yet I still adore them as people. There are other jellies with whom I have a lot in common, and I can’t stand them at all. It just depends on the person.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I’ve never been tested, but I’ve always wondered. I don’t think I could stand to be with someone I disagreed with on a fundamental level (i.e. if he were religious or very right wing) – but the heart is a funny thing.

Coloma's avatar

@tinyfaery Who she “truly” is, is the person you are enjoying, minus your bias.

I am very open minded and embrace differences, but, if they cross the line into extreme dysfunction, I choose to not spend time with them.

augustlan's avatar

It depends on if the person is generally pleasant or not. Whatever their views, if they’re an asshat, no way.

Bellatrix's avatar

I would always try to be polite. I also wouldn’t want to write someone off without at least trying to get to know them. How close are you going to get on Fluther or FB or wherever it is they are trying to be friends with you? They might surprise you. Your preconceived ideas about who they are might be totally wrong. I guess it depends if you can be bothered. I would always be worried that if I was so closed about to getting to know someone based on who I think they are, I might miss out on connecting with a person who is really fun and interesting.

Paradox25's avatar

Well I’m always interested in what others have to say, what they stand for and I like to know why. If this can be done in a respectful way without another person attempting to talk down to the other (because of their views or beliefs) than it can be quite a rewarding experience. To me it’s not about someone’s views/beliefs for the most part that is important (at least to me) but it’s about how they treat and respond to others. There are people that agree with alot of my views that I can’t stand to be around while there are people that I vividly disagree with on many fronts that I ended up being good friends with.

DominicX's avatar

Depends. I mean, if they’re going to start talking what I think is bullshit/prejudice then I’m not just going sit back without saying something. In that case, I don’t see a “friendship” really able to develop from that.

muppetish's avatar

I battled with this for a long time. I was good friends with this guy in high school, even when I knew we disagreed on many friends. I thought, “I’m a sensible, open-minded individual and can look past our differences.” Turns out that I can’t. The more he spoke in complete opposition to me, the more it made my stomach churn.

bkcunningham's avatar

I stumbled upon Fluther by accident. When I saw that it was very liberal, left-leaning and for the most part younger people; I stuck around to try to get a different view of life and the world. I think when we insulate ourselves with only people and views that are the same as our’s or that give us affirmation and that warm and tingly feeling, we become fanatics and blind followers who refuse to think outside the box and can’t see the forest for the trees.

Blackberry's avatar

@bkcunningham This is how I imagine you and some others feel.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t mind disagreeing with someone at all providing I don’t feel like their opinions are in any way dangerous to society. If someone is racist or homophobic then I would consider that, potentially, dangerous to society if taken to the extreme. If they are strongly vegan and don’t agree with me for having the odd steak then I don’t have a problem with getting to know them.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Blackberry, LOL, it has felt like that a few times. Overall, it isn’t so bad.

wundayatta's avatar

I can see studying the opposition and trying to understand them as an exercise in understanding. I can see looking for points of commonality, which I believe must be there, somewhere, although I usually don’t have the patience to try to get to them.

But how is it possible to like someone who is against everything you believe to be true? How can you like someone who wants to hurt people or worse, who believes they want to help people but everything they do will hurt people?

These things aren’t joking matters. The difference between Republican and Democratic policies are very significant and Republican policies result in significant harm to millions of people. Religious policies also can create significant harm. There are all kinds of issues where the divide is stark and we are not talking shades of gray. We are talking about policies that will result in the deaths of significant numbers of people, or in a much worse quality of life—policies that discriminate and encourage people to hurt others because they are gay or female or black or poor or uneducated.

How is it possible to like someone who stands for policies that you believe will hurt others? how do you separate them from their point of view? I don’t get it. How can you respect someone who you think advocates (actively or passively) for harm to others? If you think spanking is harmful; how can you like someone who spanks their kids, knowing that their kids will be hurt by the spanking in a lasting way?

Being a friend means condoning that behavior and makes you complicit in the harm, I think. What am I missing? How is it that people can be complicit in harm? Do they not really believe what they say they believe? Do they not think their friends believe what they say they believe? Do they think these policies don’t really matter? How can you think someone is a good person when they do things to hurt others?

thorninmud's avatar

The guy who does our taxes is my political opposite, and our religions aren’t very complementary either. Every year at about this time, I go and sit with him or an hour or so. About half of that will be tax-talk, and the rest will be Dave inveighing against the policies I support. He knows very well that I disagree with him on these points. Mostly, I just listen.

The thing is, I find Dave very interesting. Not least because he’s extremely intelligent: he’s a PhD linguist, has an advanced math degree, is very knowledgeable of classical music, is well-read and well-informed. I can’t just dismiss his views as being stuff he picked up on talk radio and never critically examined. He lives in a modest little house, and doesn’t strike me at all as idolizing wealth. His politics don’t seem to be driven by his religion (not a fundamentalist).

Now, I would never especially want to get together with Dave any other time of the year, but I certainly don’t mind that hour each February. It keeps me, I hope, from getting too, too sure about people of other views.

Nullo's avatar

@thorninmud Is THAT what it means to be a fundamentalist?

thorninmud's avatar

@Nullo No, not at all. I’m just saying that whereas being conservative is pretty much a given for Americans who embrace fundamentalism, this guy’s religion seems to have as many liberals as conservatives in its ranks.

DominicX's avatar

Maybe I was thinking of something more extreme. I have a friend who’s definitely conservative and Christian and thus we have opposing views on many issues (he was always the token conservative kid in my high school classes). But he’s a really nice person and I like hanging out with him when he’s here back from Maryland. But even though we disagree on things, it rarely becomes a point of contention and for the most part we’ve gotten to the point where we can really predict each other’s views on things and it’s become more something to brush off then something to get into an argument about.

But I can respect his views even though I don’t agree with many of them. I can be friends with someone who has opposing views that I can respect. However, there are some views that I simply can’t respect (such as the “opinion” that being gay is a choice). I’m of the idea that an opinion isn’t automatically valid or deserving of respect just on the basis of it being an opinion. In cases like that, I simply don’t think I could be friends with that person unless such unrespectable views were never brought up.

Nullo's avatar

@thorninmud I must take you to some of the local evangelical churches sometime. I think you’d be pleasantly surprised.

wundayatta's avatar

Sometimes—maybe a lot of times—people behave in ways that are very different from their opinions on public policies. Their policy recommendations maybe very uncaring and counter-productive, but their behavior in daily life may be completely the other way around: quite caring.

FutureMemory's avatar

@Jude You don’t think by posting this question you’re sending a “piss off” message to that person?

Buttonstc's avatar

One of my best friends is a Hare Krishna and has been since the 70s. Its not a problem for either of us because she doesn’t try to arm twist me into becoming a Krishna devotee and respects my spiritual path.

I likewise respect hers and refrain from opining that I think that their belief system is wacky. Shes also a strict vegetarian and even eating anywhere with the smell of meat cooking is kind of revolting to her.

So, when we’re at my house I don’t cook meat out of simple respect. I can certainly survive for a few days without meat. It isn’t going to kill me to eat a little more healthfully. As a matter of fact shes given me quite a few helpful hints and suggestions over the years on all sorts of supplements etc. for boosting health in general.

When we eat out, its not that difficult to find either Asian or Indian places with vegetarian food and we’ve managed to find several places serving top quality food in the process.

And for ten+ years I lived in a house share where the owner was an agnostic Orthodox Jewish guy who kept strict kosher and was an extremely observant Orthodox in every respect (even tho he reserved his right to question if God even existed. An interesting dichotomy to say the least.

It never offered to me, even for a second, to have nothing at all to do with them. I have a difficult time identifying with those who have an all or nothing mentality about this.

Needless to say we had numerous ongoing conversations about our totally opposite views and I learned a lot.

Buttonstc's avatar

DBut there are issues with a clearer line of demarcation. If I ever encounter someone who is an unabashed racist or homophobe, I would have so little respect for them that I wouldn’t care how much they agreed with me on other issues. Those two are just deal breakers for me

And something like smoking isn’t really relevant to any interactions on Fluther. But in real life it does present problems simply due to logistics. Before my brother quit smoking, we didn’t see each other very much since it was just too difficult for me to visit him and his family in their home. You cant really try to tell people what they can or cant do in their own homes. Thats just foolish and rude. But I really do enjoy being able to breathe :)

In this day and age, its ridiculous to try to inform anyone of all the reasons why smoking is unhealthy. They already know and have made their own adult decisions on the matter. But i really don’t have any close friends who smoke since its just too much logistical hassle for both sides. Its not so much an issue of ideology as it is practicality.

Nullo's avatar

Really, it comes down to how open-minded you are.

bkcunningham's avatar

She has left the building.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@bkcunningham No. She is very present

bkcunningham's avatar

Good. I think I understand. If I knew she was coming, I’d been a good mother and baked her a… pancake?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yeppers mama

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