I would probably have to go with religion, though politics, sex (largely due to religion) and sports get pretty tense.
I would argue religion, when the ostensible topic of the discussion is anything else. You can actually have a pretty civil debate over whether the Bible is or is not God’s word – but a totally uncivil one over whether “science” proves abortion is murder.
Race. In a country where we all live near each other and interact daily, the same people behind closed doors will spew forth vitriol about the other race, and it is universal in this country. Like something that is hidden, yet everyone knows where it is.
Either religion or race. Religion, because it’s based on faith, not facts, so it’s impossible to have a real debate. And race, because people are afraid to discuss it at all (except, as Societygirl points, out, behind closed doors, and usually in a not so good way)
Link, I find it curious that you state that a topic can’t be debated because it’s based on faith, not facts. Much of science is based on faith. What evidence do we have for the Big Bang? Yet it is discussed in scientific circles as having legitimacy. There is no evidence for that and many other “facts”, yet they are debated. Weren’t medical procedures of the 1700s accepted as ‘fact”, that are now clearly regarded as without scientific basis? Wasn’t it accepted as “fact” that some people were witches and had magic powers? I could go on and on. It’s all perspective, and in my opinion, scientists are the WORST examples of having faith. They believe something, so they go look for evidence to support their beliefs. I can tell you with CERTAINTY, though there is no physical equipment to define, measure, or show it’s physical existence, my faith in Universal Energy is rock solid and I am open to information, not necessarily evidence, that appears logical in the full context of life. I don’t need something to measure it in some small and specific instance to prove it’s existence.
To me, faith in anything is simply an inherent awareness by some people for which we do not yet have the technological awareness to understand and quantify it. I think you should have a more open mind.
I really think it’s politics. With race, people never say what they really think, and we’re all so trained to be polite about people’s religious conviction that most of those arguments die before they start. But get people started on politics and Boom.
I think religion is most contentious thing to argue. People are totally involved in their religion which is really just a figment of their imagination. Religion is a real circular logic Catch-22. You can’t escape believing or not believing. either way, the boogie man is going to get you. It’s all a bunch of BS.