I had an argument today with someone over religion.
I would call myself an atheist, yet spiritual, in that I am open to concepts of religion. This person was an Anglican Christian. Suffice to say – our beliefs became a topic of conversation and it went downhill from there. I have always believed that deep politics: religion, political leaning, deep-rooted cultural ideologies, have always been a taboo topic – not only on a first date but in life. What is there to gain by challenging someone’s core beliefs as they challenge your own?
While completing my political science minor at university I changed this view.
Jürgen Habermas, a German sociologist, discusses deep politics in his early 1990s paper on the “public sphere”. In a nutshell, there are three spheres in society: a public sphere, a private sphere and a sphere of the state. Each sphere shares different amounts of information between them and arguably contributes to participatory democracy via public discussion.
Look, a kitten!
Habermas argues that in order to continue as a society we must continue to communicate, regardless of deep-rooted, unchangeable beliefs. Though we may argue, we are at least communicating. Right on Hab!