At Dragon*Con in September, I was pulled into being a guest on the Secular Buddhist podcast, speaking on the subject of communicating with people who don’t share your viewpoint. Since I am not a Buddhist, I’d like to believe that I was asked to participate because I’m used to speaking to and entertaining large groups of people; however, it’s possible that I was asked simply because I’m fond of smoking cigars. Regardless of the reason, it was a treat to spend so much time talking with Ted Meissner, Matt Lowry, and Melissa Lee, as they are all truly Excellent People.
Here’s the summary of the podcast’s premise:
How often do we have conversations where all participants agree, completely, on all points? Just shy of never. Every day, we are going to run into an expected variety of thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Some of these will be held quite strongly, others not so much. It gets difficult when the passion about ideas is fierce, and the divergence between ideas is wide.
When we do find ourselves in situations where the discussion is going to happen, how can we engage in ways that not only leave doors open, but actively create bridges? Today’s episode is based on a situation that occurred at DragonCon, during the science track in a panel discussion about evolution and creationism. It was recorded in a crowded bar, so I thank you for your patience with the background sounds and ask for your understanding that we don’t always have the benefits of quiet, Skype based conversations.