Strong opinions loosely held

I first saw this quote on Nat Eliason’s Twitter and it’s one of those rare sentences that actually resonates. I’m not one for quotes, but there are times I find one that speaks to something I’ve been thinking about and does it so succinctly.

What I love about it is that it helps explain something I’ve always thought was wrong with me.

I’d listen to podcasts, read commentaries on articles, see people critique a book and I’d wonder why I didn’t feel the same. Why didn’t I have these strong reactions to things that others did? I would see their reaction and think “hmm that’s a good point” and move on. I usually just didn’t form an opinion around things like this.

But there are some things that I do have very strong, very passionate opinions about. The first one that pops into my head is religion. I feel that I’m quite open minded about it, but my opinion about there being a god is very strong (I don’t believe there is one if you’re wondering).

That being said, I wouldn’t hold onto that opinion if I heard a strong counterargument. I like listening to people talk about religion, especially those that are very devout. It’s something I can’t resonate with. I try to understand it and learn more about it. My girlfriend is essentially my Bible tutor since she knows all the stories from growing up and going to church. She’s not religious but she helps explain a lot about religion and the appeals. I never went to church and grew up in a non-religious family so I know next to nothing about Christianity but I’m not unwilling to learn.

I don’t want to hold onto an opinion so stubbornly that I will stand by it in the face of new facts or a logical counterargument. I like having strong opinions about a few topics, but allowing new facts and ideas change my thinking.

Photo: Houtong Cat Village (猴硐貓村). It’s a super cute town outside Taipei. I’d suggest visiting it and Jiufen in the same day.