There are many types of beliefs out there that may seem a little extreme or irrational. For Christianity we have apologetics. There's Islam, for Muslims, secular humanism, Marxism, post modernism, new age movement, atheism, agnosticism, polytheism, pantheism, monotheism, polytheism, deism, satanic worship, and many other beliefs. Each of these beliefs has their own set of customs and theories that go along with them that followers of them will argue that they are absolute truth sometimes. By equipping yourself with basic knowledge of other beliefs, you will be able to hold your ground if an extremist of another belief wants to start arguing over who's write and who's wrong.
One thing to keep in mind while learning about another belief is that you will not find out who is write and who is wrong. If that is what you are looking for then you might want to adjust your thought process to finding info that will best help with standing your ground. When you gain knowledge of another belief, you gain the ability to answer the golden questions, "why do you believe?" and "why don't you believe?" Now I am not asking you to go and change your religion or beliefs as you go through researching what other beliefs are around you. I am simply suggesting that doing this will lead to you having more confidence in what you believe in. Knowledge in another persons belief will help you back up your arguments well enough so that you don't make yourself look dumb if a person asks you one of those golden questions. In the end you will find that you have more confidence in what you believe in because you now have been able to immerse yourself in other beliefs and justify what you do and don't believe.
Take evolution for instance. One thing that really infuriates me about people who don't have basic knowledge about evolution is when I hear someone say, "I don't believe in evolution because I don't think we evolved from monkeys." That is the most invalid argument there is. It's like going up to a Christian and saying, "I don't believe that Jesus parted the Red Sea." A Christian would immediately know this person has no idea what they are talking about. Now going back to evolution, if someone came to me and said, "I don't believe in evolution because I don't believe that mutations in the gene pool are enough for a micro bacteria to evolve into what we are today and there isn't sufficient evidence of natural selection for me to believe in it." You see the difference in that? You can now tell that that person has done their homework ad has a valid reason for not believing in it. Notice that the argument didn't say evolution was wrong, it simply stated facts that were controversial and brought them out as logical reasons for not believing. The people who can show that they have sufficient knowledge of something to support their own beliefs are the kind of people that you can come to respect.
In conclusion Today's post, I implore you, that before you go about bragging or trying to start an argument on your beliefs, to go and get a generally understanding of other beliefs. You may find that some of the religions and beliefs you study are actually interesting, and may find something you like more than what you currently believe. It's like how my parents raised me to try new foods. Although some I didn't like, others I thought were amazing, and I wouldn't of been able to learn that unless I tried it. Who knows, you may find it entertaining when you are able to go to someone and give them a good in depth explanation of why you do or don't believe in something, especially when you know more than they do. Finally, keep in mind while you are exploring different beliefs, to keep an open mind, for it is when you allow other peoples beliefs to influence you, that you may be able to influence them.