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I would turn this on its head: political discussion becomes passionate the closer it gets to intimately held beliefs. Here are examples of topics where policy discussion quickly degenerates into heated argument. In all cases it's because the actual disagreement is over closely held belief systems:

  • abortion
  • capital punishment
  • nuclear power
  • intellectual property

Disagreements around these topics are philosophical, not policy disagreements.

Religious discussions are not peculiar in this sense, they're just pure unadulterated arguments over belief systems, but that doesn't make them less political (if anything, because religious frames underpin many political positions).

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:03:54 AM EST
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