I have extreme flexibility in my relations with people of diverse beliefs. I call myself an Apatheist. By that I mean your religious views are yours, yours alone; I am willing to hear you talk about them for a couple of minutes, but that’s it. I prefer to talk about things that I can take some concrete action on, and let the totally otherworld beings take care of themselves.

When I have invited my Atheist friends to meetings about some diverse forms of spirituality, I expected them to be shocked, but no, they were fascinated, as I was when I first began going regularly to the group’s events several years ago. There are ideas that are not discussed at all in a scientific community, but some of these ideas have merit. The spooky stuff is okay for TV but not for me, but the social interactions with people of totally diverse beliefs is fascinating and worth exploring.

As a general rule, there isn’t much sense talking about things with which you are in total disagreement with another person. Although that is usually where the sparks are going to be found and perhaps for some people the most interest. Rather, a more friendly conversation can be had where you explore the touching points where you are in agreement but coming to that place from a totally different starting point. How did you each get there, at that same idea, can be fascinating.

Stop occasionally, and try to state the opposition’s sequence of beliefs in a way that they will agree with what you say. It’s usually difficult, but if you both can do that for a full cup of coffee you will leave a wiser man than when you entered the coffee shop.

Everyone is perfectly sane and logical if you can get into their world view.