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The arrogance of toleration

 
 
JPB
 
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2007 10:13 pm
What does it mean to tolerate another's religion?

I hear talk of tolerance and intolerance, which to my mind is different than acceptance or embracing differences among greater similarities.

When we are tolerant does that mean we are accepting, or is there still an implied arrogance of superior position?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,780 • Replies: 48
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2007 10:19 pm
I'm irregular, JPB, but honest.

I'm tolerant, cause I really just don't have a clue. I know what doesn't work for me, but I don't have a lot of "faith" either.

If we all tolerated each other's religion, I doubt that war could survive....

We would be left with economics, and logic.... Cool

RH
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2007 10:21 pm
Depends on who's doing the "tolerating". If someone has never been burdened by the need for humility in their dealings with others, their version of "tolerance" would probably seem haughty or condescending. To others who practiced kindness and consideration as a rule, their "tolerance" would probably seem much more accepting and inclusive.

Like so many English words, 'tolerance' is a pretty subjective thing, open to many interpretations, dontcha think?

As for me, I think I'm a pretty tolerant person about all religions. Except Satan worship. I'm pretty close minded about that'n.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2007 10:25 pm
Rockhead wrote:
If we all tolerated each other's religion, I doubt that war could survive....


In my dreams...
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2007 10:30 pm
snood wrote:
Depends on who's doing the "tolerating". If someone has never been burdened by the need for humility in their dealings with others...


And there's another word that has numerous definitions depending on who is speaking. Humility, to me is a positive. Yet, to many it invokes a negative. I was once in a class of folks who were asked if we were a humble people? The answer was an overwhelming NO! I was dumbstruck and wondered why the hell not? Why shouldn't we be humble?
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2007 10:41 pm
Re: The arrogance of toleration
JPB wrote:
What does it mean to tolerate another's religion?

I hear talk of tolerance and intolerance, which to my mind is different than acceptance or embracing differences among greater similarities.

When we are tolerant does that mean we are accepting, or is there still an implied arrogance of superior position?



Hmmm...maybe it is arrogant...but until we have everyone tolerating, I'm damned happy with it as a first step.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 01:35 am
As I understandi it, the word "tolerate" does imply that you are enduring it, but not liking it. Or perhaps that is just intolrance one has the good grace to restrain.

That said though, I feel myself getting to a point where it's harder to tolerate religion.

Thing is, if we have a tool for a job, but that tool simultaneously does much harm, we seek to replace it with something that can still do the job with much less colateral damage.
Oil, for instance, is an example of such a thing. It does what we want it to, but it also does things we don't want it to like polluting the eco system.

So why should we say that religion is ok? Sure many people have personal religious views that they keep to themselves and so do not empower anyone to commit crimes on their behalf. Why then do these people need to associate their beliefs with any religion, when there is such a dark side to it? Why can they not just be independant?

One of my main reasons for rejecting christianity is it's bloody history. I cannot support a religion that has been and is responsible for so much shyt, because that would mean that I am condoning this shyt.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 08:01 am
Re: The arrogance of toleration
dlowan wrote:
JPB wrote:
What does it mean to tolerate another's religion?

I hear talk of tolerance and intolerance, which to my mind is different than acceptance or embracing differences among greater similarities.

When we are tolerant does that mean we are accepting, or is there still an implied arrogance of superior position?



Hmmm...maybe it is arrogant...but until we have everyone tolerating, I'm damned happy with it as a first step.


True -- me too!
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 08:45 am
Cyracuz wrote:
So why should we say that religion is ok? Sure many people have personal religious views that they keep to themselves and so do not empower anyone to commit crimes on their behalf. Why then do these people need to associate their beliefs with any religion, when there is such a dark side to it? Why can they not just be independant?


I've been studying George Washington's ideas of balancing religious and secular influences. As a Deist and Freemason he professed a need for balance between divine order and civil liberty. He indicated that religion has a place in formulating personal integrity and moral behaviors, but that religious practices must be personal and not interfere with the business of government or the freedom of anyone to participate in their own traditions.

Quote:
The Masonic constitutions required brothers to "leave their particular views [on religion] to themselves"... For a clear view of the basic elements that constitute Washington's moral philosophy, we need to look no further than the Masonic Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where as a young man he received instruction in any number of "mysteries" that would have made perfect common sense to him. Combining the Christian virtue of charity, the Stoic virtue of self-control, the Enlightenment virtue of knowledge, and the Republican virtue of liberty (including religious liberty), his fraternal teachers would have had at the ready all the pillars Washington would need to construct the temple of his character and fashion the temple of his government, erected "for the benefit of the whole" to serve "the public good" and dedicated to "the aggregate happiness" of the American people. -- Church, Forest. So Help Me God, The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State, pp 85-86


Many do need religion and see it as a directive for moral behavior. There's nothing wrong with religion when practiced as a personal choice. Problems arise whenever intolerance (or arrogance) of a single faction (religious or secular) upsets the balance between individual behaviors and freedoms and those of society as a whole. The bloody history of Christianity you mention is an example of unbalance in favor of religion and the bloody history of the wild west is an example of unbalance in favor of secularists. I do believe that there is a place for religion in society so long as it is personal and non-intrusive into the lives of others. Finding and maintaining that balance requires not only tolerance but acceptance of individual beliefs and historically has been a pipe dream, but it's a dream I embrace.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 09:10 am
where religion is concerned.... there is acceptance, tolerance lot's of terms I would describe my feelings as doesn't give a ****... is that exactly tolerant or is it arrogant, or is it accepting.

I really could give a **** less who worships what deity as long as no one f**ks with me or mine.

The percentage of people of any religion or belief who strictly conduct their lives by their principles is so tiny as to be non existent anyway so what difference does it make?
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 09:15 am
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
I really could give a **** less who worships what deity as long as no one f**ks with me or mine.


Sounds pretty accepting to me.

Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
The percentage of people of any religion or belief who strictly conduct their lives by their principles is so tiny as to be non existent anyway so what difference does it make?


The problem, as I see it, is in the pendulum swinging among factions. The fringe pushing on everyone to be just like they are. I see Cyracuz's call for banning religion to be equally disruptive to the whole (the rest of us in the middle) as a fundy preacher calling for a theocracy (of any religion).
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 09:16 am
I'll buy that....
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 09:24 am
A half century ago, I was extremely religious. I now am thoroughly without religious belief. I have a basic understanding of being religious, and that will never go away... whatever religion or religious person I look at from across the world or across the street, I get how they can believe that way. This goes to what I consider developed spiritualities too. (more on that in a minute)

It may seem conversely, or just that the understanding doesn't stop me - I get very angry when I see religion imposed, a kind of brainwashing, and more when I see it physically and emotionally affect others, say, for example, in the years and years of the inquisition, and more when it underlies 'cause of war'.

On the developed spirituality, and relative to US politics, I'm having a fine time working out if I could vote for Kuchinich. I agree with a lot of his political arguments, certainly as much as Hillary Clinton's, and way more than that man I think is probably a good person, Mike Huckabee.
But based on an article I read in yesterday's Washington Post, I see he and his wife's core beliefs as, uh, what I would call wooh-wooh, outre, at first read anyway. Tolerant Lady I think I am, I think the wooh-wooh would stop me. Or maybe caution about wooh-wooh would just be additive to other practical concerns, like wasting a vote re electability when there is someone whose political ideas I also like a lot higher up on the electability rungs. Interesting to look at one's own tolerance.





Edit to add I also have no interest in "banning religion".
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 10:22 am
I would like to see everyone shed their religious beliefs, and I believe that the world would be a better place if that happened. But they would have to do it by their own volition.

I am afraid that banning religion would have the opposite effect. It would cause more people to become interested in them. Forbidden fruit and all that...

In the meantime I am unsure how much tolerance is appropriate. If a co-worker want's to kneel on a mat a couple of times a day to pray to his god, fine by me. If he folds his hands in prayer before taking his meals, that's fine too. Personal beliefs are fine so long as they remain personal. But the problem is that given half a chance, most of these people will seek to infect others with their beliefs, and it's often a very irresponsible thing to do. In the most extreme instances it can be like giving a child a gun and no training on how to use it.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 10:27 am
and let's not confuse religion with belief in a higher power... God, or however you choose to describe Him/Her/It.

I believe most organized religion is strictly a tool to keep the masses in line.

I believe there is a God however and none of this is accidental.

If I'm wrong no one has been harmed.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 10:36 am
I think a lot of religious people do good things in the world, sometimes because of the urging of their religion, and sometimes out of their own hearts, or some mix of both. I don't really want the world to be devoid of religion; it think can and does enrich lives and cultures - not speaking monetarily, though don't get me started on that - and at the same time I'm well aware of religion as a ofttimes destructive force.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 10:37 am
Fine by me, bear.

For myself, I have a way of relating to these things that eliminates the need for any magic or supernatural entities. I might use the word god, but when I explain it, you will see that I am not referring to anything supernatural. Still, everything that is said about god in the bible could also be said about the god I am talking about.
So I do not wish to eliminate the concept of god. I wish to eliminate the belief part. Any concept that cannot be understood, and that has to be taken on blind faith is a concept that serves to hinder the spiritual and intellectual growth of an individual, and I am opposed to that.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 11:47 am
ossobuco wrote:
I think a lot of religious people do good things in the world, sometimes because of the urging of their religion, and sometimes out of their own hearts, or some mix of both. I don't really want the world to be devoid of religion; it think can and does enrich lives and cultures - not speaking monetarily, though don't get me started on that - and at the same time I'm well aware of religion as a ofttimes destructive force.


I agree, osso.
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George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 04:15 pm
Substitute "zealotry" for "religion" and I agree.
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Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 04:40 pm
snood wrote:
As for me, I think I'm a pretty tolerant person about all religions. Except Satan worship.


It can be argued that despite actually having negitive intentions, the efforts of the christians with good intentions have had a greater negitive net impact on human history.

I don't give satanism any more or less acceptance than any other religion. Whther a christian is praying for my health to improve or a satanist is chanting for my death, I typically continue as normal.

T
K
O
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