Today and tomorrow: some musings I wrote in my notebook during my earlier trip to Spain.
Science vs. Religion
The debate between science and religion (no hyperlink; as if you need one!) is not so much unresolvable as just plain unfair. It's like arguing about which is "right", art or chemistry. Religion in general lacks the tools to mount convincing logical arguments, because that's not what it's about. Science, on the other hand, is about accepting that the answer is uncertain, then assembling the evidence on both sides of a question, then believing one side or the other based on the evidence because it "sounds more right so far."
Religion, or at least Western religion, has been passed on in the form of a playground bully: "Do it my way or I'll pound my way into you." This was rather convincing for awhile, but modern society frowns on such methods (for scientific or other reasons) and now the religious establishment, with its threats of eternal damnation and so on, are left looking a little old-fashioned, chauvinistic, and silly.
But that doesn't mean they're wrong. I learned some time ago that I'm quite capable of winning most arguments (whether through eloquence, cleverness, or simple exhaustion of the opponent) whether I'm right in the end or not.
So here's my advice: we've learned already to be careful of any "advice" phrased as a threat, and discount it accordingly. But don't forget to also discount advice that sounds too convincing. That doesn't make it right either.
Pay attention to the people who don't know how to argue. They might still have a point, but it's up to you to find it for them.