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PostSubject: Religious Tolerance   Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:48 am

How important is the practice of religious tolerance to you and why do you take that position?

"Enjoy every sandwich" ~ Warren Zevon
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Tolerance   Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:46 pm

There is much more that unifies within religion then actually separates it, and some of the differences are pretty minor, especially an outsider. For instance, if an alien came to earth, they would perceive the differences among the three "western' religions to be fairly minor, I perceive.
Plus I see good people of good heart in all religions and in deism and even in atheism. And to be honest I actually relate more to how good and person is in their heart rather than to what they believe, although I acknowledge that issues of faith do impact on relationships.

But I think it's more important that good people of good heart forge and form alliances based on the mutually accepted traits inheritant in good people of good heart and good books based on love of family, love of country, love of the golden rule, compassion for the poor, good will to strangers etc.

Certainly there will be some sticking points between religious, atheistic and deistic groups, but if good people of good heart and good books unite around their positive commonalities we'll be in a much better position to work it out.

At the top of my mind, abortion is probably the most controversial. For some fundies, for whatever reason, there's no gray area, and people who disagree with their position are either evil or controlled by satan or whatever.

But most issues actually aren't nearly as divisive. For instance, the Catholic church believes in actual physical miracles, in fact I guess their Saints have to be associated with such a miracle.

Deists, by and large, would not believe this.

But the catholics, if they believe this, are not raining on my parade as long as they don't require me to believe it.

All we can do as deists, or as any faith, for that matter, is to offer up what we believe and why, I guess.
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Tolerance   Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:48 pm

Aaron wrote:
How important is the practice of religious tolerance to you and why do you take that position?
Religious tolerance is a political concept, not a religious idea. Almost all religions have some peculiar beliefs and practices that are not only unacceptable, but downright evil for other religious groups. In such cases, fundamentalists consider tolerance to be equivalent to sanctioning evil. When those pain-provoking, protruding peculiarities are brought into close contact then, the resulting conflict will be resolved by either violence or tolerance.

However, in a society with an official religion, humane-but-grudging tolerance makes second class citizens of non-conformers*. That's why, in modern and future multicultural societies, a state religion is not compatible with an open, egalitarian, democratic society. Therefore, until Deism becomes the official world religion, politically-enforced tolerance will be necessary in order to keep the peace. Crying or Very sad

So state-mandated religious tolerance is important to me personally, because as a non-conformer, it's in my best interest to have a constitutionally-tolerant secular state on my side. And a personal ethic of tolerance is important in order for me to remain open to challenging new truths.

* And that includes atheistic state "religions", such as the quasi-tolerant Communism of China.

Last edited by Gnomon on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Tolerance   Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:58 pm

It depends on how you define tolerance.

If you mean never criticizing anyone else's beliefs, no matter how much those beliefs lead to persecuting and denying rights and freedom to others, then I'm against it.

If you mean protecting people's freedom to believe whatever they want, then I'm all for it.

To some people "intolerance" means that you say you disagree with them on an internet forum or that you speak up against their intolerance of others. To me, the word means violence and/or legal discrimination against someone because of something like skin color, sexual preference, reproductive organs, their ideas, etc.

I am sure that if I lived in, say, 1930s Germany, I'd have a very different emotional reaction. As it is, the concepts and emotions and images that the idea brings up in my mind are more people getting beaten and killed and discriminated against and having their freedom and civil rights restricted by members of the dominant religion than it is members of a religion being hated and discriminated against.

Actually thinking about the Holocaust does change it a bit and opens my perception some. Also thinking about how the local dominant religion treats other religions - especially Muslims.

But even then, narrowing it down to just "religious" tolerance doesn't do much for me.

If you broaden it to the issue of prejudice and group-based hate in general though - then it's my life's passion. I need to understand human evil on a social scale, and pretty much all of that seems to be based in the idea of an in-group and out-groups.
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PostSubject: Re: Religious Tolerance   Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:42 pm

It's a mistake to assume the religiously faithful are the misguided ones. They are simply humans being human.

It is we whom champion reason that are the oddities. Let's hope they tolerate us.
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