It’s a damn shame I didn’t get to see anyone else’s fear projects outside of mine and David’s. I was very much looking forward to them, but circumstances prevented us from seeing any of them. The only other project I got to see was Dave’s, and it was a pretty good topic.
Dave based his experiment off of the fear of looking stupid in front of others. I think that’s a fear that most of us can relate to (I certainly can!). He also linked his religious beliefs into the project, as those are very important to him. Basically, he stood up in front of the class and asked them to argue with him about religion, and he would defend his beliefs no matter what. That’s a pretty gutsy thing to do, especially since it’s such a sensitive topic. Most people are pretty uncomfortable talking about it, because they don’t want to get into an argument or offend others.
Well, this was the most civilized, polite discussion of religion I had ever seen. People had some great questions and arguments, and everything was just so cordial and pleasant. Unfortunately, it was only about 5 or 6 students participating in the discussion, and while there were some great topics discussed (such as the Genesis story, eastern religions, and the concept of hell), I don’t think people got as nitty-gritty as Dave was hoping.
Dave likes to argue and debate. Not in any sort of hostile or aggressive manner, but he loves discussing ideas. Also, our religious beliefs differ quite a bit. Dave is a Christian and strongly believes in the Bible, and I am non-religious. Neither religion nor spirituality have ever really been a part of my life, and I am perfectly happy with it that way. So once in a while, we’ll get into discussing religious ideas, and it turns into a debate, and I absolutely hate it. I don’t feel comfortable trying to defend my particular beliefs because I don’t know enough about science to make a reasonable counterpoint. So I feel like I always lose. I know this isn’t the intent, but I still feel like I look a little less smart when we get into those kinds of discussions. So in a way Dave’s project was very relevant, and it was interesting to see him put under the microscope. I wish I had spoken up and participated in the discussion, as much to face my own fears on the topic as to help Dave out with his project.