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Tolerance on the Rise?

 
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 01:23 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
Absolutely. So are you suggesting that because I don't accept someone else's beliefs that I am against freedom of self-determined worship?
With apologies, Solace, you do a lot of this -- putting words in other people's mouth. Just ask the question, don't pin things on me that I haven't written.

So to rephrase your question less personally, do I believe that valuing self-determined worship is incompatible with rejection of someone else's beliefs?

It depends what you mean by rejection. If rejection is simply a personal conviction, then these things are indeed compatible. I happen to be a somewhat atheistic yet practicing Jew. I personally do not accept any of the theology about Jesus of Nazareth or the books and traditions based on his life. But if he really is the son of God and the messiah to you, then that's good enough for me and I value him vicariously insofar as I value your autonomy.

On the other hand, if rejection is the following:
Quote:
I'm not going to pretend to them that I think their belief is right.
then frankly your point of view IS incompatible with my idea about self-determination. Why? Because you openly and admittedly create strata among and between people, you have a hierarchy of belief systems, and you do so by openly generalizing your rejection of other belief systems. Thus, you do not fully respect the autonomy of others -- you think of them as mistaken. This is the same attitude that missionaries have, and believe me in all the time I've worked in Africa I've about had it with the manipulative cultural divisiveness that missionaries bring with them.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 02:12 pm
@Aedes,
Quote:
frankly your point of view IS incompatible with my idea about self-determination.


For sake of not putting words into your mouth again, is this saying that because I don't agree with someone else's beliefs that I don't agree with self-determined freedom of religious beliefs? Cause that's how I'm reading it, so I'd just like you to clarify, lest I offend again.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 02:17 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
For sake of not putting words into your mouth again, is this saying that because I don't agree with someone else's beliefs that I don't agree with self-determined freedom of religious beliefs?
If you're willing to openly tell someone that their belief system is wrong, then their freedom of belief is subject to your judgement. Perhaps that constrains your own freedom more than it does theirs (which is Sartre's argument in Portrait of the Antisemite), but it's somewhat hypocritical to both tolerate and judge. That said, the degree of your judgement is what determines the latitude of your tolerance.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 02:38 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes, all I can say to that is that I've been told plenty of times that my beliefs are wrong, but never once was my freedom to determine my own beliefs put in jeopardy because of it. My beliefs were subject to their judgement, but not my freedom of belief. I am still free to believe whatever I will, their refusal to accept my beliefs didn't change a thing.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 02:52 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
Aedes, all I can say to that is that I've been told plenty of times that my beliefs are wrong, but never once was my freedom to determine my own beliefs put in jeopardy because of it. My beliefs were subject to their judgement, but not my freedom of belief. I am still free to believe whatever I will, their refusal to accept my beliefs didn't change a thing.
Yes, no one can control what happens in the privacy of your own heart or mind. But your freedom to live those beliefs outside depends on the environment you're in. And considering that belief systems are communal, they're shared, they're expressed, and they permeate the way someone lives and interfaces with society, one can indeed be constrained by disparaging attitudes -- especially when these exist at the societal level.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 03:04 pm
@Aedes,
True, society certainly can constrain the individual's freedom to live his beliefs. Just as when society tells me it is intolerant for me not to accept that other religions can lead to eternal life. Now I'm being constrained by the disparaging attitude that I should conform to the belief that society wants me to have.

All I'm saying is that we're not truly being tolerant by not tolerating the belief that other religions can't lead to eternal life.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 03:07 pm
@Solace,
So the question is do you really care deep down what someone else believes about eternal life?
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 03:12 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
True, society certainly can constrain the individual's freedom to live his beliefs. Just as when society tells me it is intolerant for me not to accept that other religions can lead to eternal life. Now I'm being constrained by the disparaging attitude that I should conform to the belief that society wants me to have.

All I'm saying is that we're not truly being tolerant by not tolerating the belief that other religions can't lead to eternal life.


Tolerant does not mean you have to accept what another thinks - it just means you should be able to live with them peacefully. You tolerate whatever it is. So, regardless if your religious beliefs, you can still be tolerant. I don't know what society you live in, but I've never encountered the majority idea, "Just as when society tells me it is intolerant for me not to accept that other religions can lead to eternal life". Society, in my experience, has never told me I'm intolerant for not accepting other religions. Sure, maybe I've had a few fanatical zealots running around, but for the most part, I haven't had this problem.

So, yes, one can 'truly' be tolerant even if they don't agree other religions can lead to eternal life.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 03:21 pm
@Aedes,
Quote:
So the question is do you really care deep down what someone else believes about eternal life?

I get the rotten feeling that this is a trick question and I'm walking into something that I can't see, but without explaining why I care, I will simply answer yes, I do care.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 03:29 pm
@Zetherin,
Zeth,

earlier in the thread I pointed out that when the media puts forth the idea that agreeing with the statement "many religions can lead to eternal life" means people are more tolerant, then it automatically implies that not agreeing with that statement means I am, if not intolerant, then at the very least less tolerant. Since 70% of those polled agreed with the statement, I took it to be the societal norm. I know that just because they agree with the statement "many religions can lead to eternal life" doesn't necessarily mean that they agree that it means they are more tolerant, but I don't think it's that big a stretch to assume it.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jun, 2008 03:46 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
I get the rotten feeling that this is a trick question and I'm walking into something that I can't see, but without explaining why I care, I will simply answer yes, I do care.
It's not a trick question, but you do need to account for why you are bothered by dissenting views. How is it that other people's authentic, freely decided belief systems (or inherited belief systems for that matter) somehow perturb you when you are confident in your own access to the afterlife, your own moral superiority, and your own spiritual stability? Clearly they don't threaten you, so why do you care?

Why, for instance, would you care that my 13 year old cousin just had a Bar Mitzvah, which is a joyous family celebration to honor a Jewish boy's religious maturity? So what if my family fails to accept the relevance of your belief system? How is it your business?

The thing is that tolerance can be passive -- you just live and let live. But intolerance is active -- so what about us (for example) merits your intolerance?
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 09:19 am
@Aedes,
Quote:

Personally, I can accept that faith other than what I hold can lead to eternal life;


I don't know how to do the "Originally posted by" bit, but anyway, this is my own quote from earlier in the thread. Don't assume that because I'm defending an individual's right not to agree with the statement and still be tolerant of others, that I don't agree with the statement. If you give a little thought to what I've said throughout this thread, you'll see that I'm not at all bothered by dissenting views, I encourage dissenting views by not trying to cover them up with the idea that they all lead to the same end. This idea makes dissenting views into non-dissenting views, in other words, it devalues all views by saying they're really just all the same.

You're right, what you and your family does is none of my business, except that you brought it into the discussion. Why?

I've not spoken out against tolerance. What I've said is that it makes more sense to acknowledge a difference of opinion and learn to live with it without interfering with each other, than it does to pretend that there is no difference of opinion at all. Covering something up, pretending that the dissenting view isn't there, only makes the dissention grow in the long run.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 02:53 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
You're right, what you and your family does is none of my business, except that you brought it into the discussion. Why?
Because you said you care.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 04:07 pm
@Aedes,
Ya, I said it was a trick question. And had I said, no I don't care, you would have come back with something like "so if you don't care then why are you making a fuss about what other people believe?" There's a couple words that spring to mind at the moment, but this is a public forum so...
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 07:02 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
Ya, I said it was a trick question. And had I said, no I don't care, you would have come back with something like "so if you don't care then why are you making a fuss about what other people believe?"
No, I would not have pursued it if you said you didn't care.

That said, why would you call it a trap? It's a question that's part of a conversation. There have been many such questions here. The conversation goes in one direction or another based on how one responds. I don't seek to trap you. In my capacity as a moderator here I feel it's my duty to help whittle down complex conversations to the elemental underlying issues.

Quote:
There's a couple words that spring to mind at the moment, but this is a public forum so...
Watch yourself -- and make sure you're up on the forum rules. It's pretty easy for smart people to know what's behind sarcastic self-censorship, and it doesn't pass for restraint.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 09:27 pm
@Aedes,
Quote:

No, I would not have pursued it if you said you didn't care.



Yes cause me participating in a thread about an issue that I care nothing about makes so much more sense than participating in one that I do care about. Then you go and drag your family into the conversation, as if I'm scheming to do you some personal harm or something.

Aedes, thanks for ruining what was otherwise a pretty good conversation. Is that in your mod job description as well?

Quote:

Watch yourself -- and make sure you're up on the forum rules.


Then go ahead and ban me, cause right now I've no interest in being part of a forum where a mod thinks it's okay to paint me as someone who is out to ruin his cousin's Bar Mitzvah. Cause there was absolutely no reason to bring something like that up unless you were insinuating that my attitude about how ignoring dissension is not a positive measure of tolerance would somehow threaten people like you and your family.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2008 05:47 am
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
Yes cause me participating in a thread about an issue that I care nothing about makes so much more sense than participating in one that I do care about. Then you go and drag your family into the conversation, as if I'm scheming to do you some personal harm or something.
It was just an example, and it was a pretty good one actually. You're mentioning the limits of your acceptance in the abstract, so I put pressure on you to extend that to me in particular -- and you backed off your point of view.

But it's your thread, take it where you want.

Quote:
Aedes, thanks for ruining what was otherwise a pretty good conversation. Is that in your mod job description as well?
Only when ugly interpersonal comments start entering the picture.



Quote:
Then go ahead and ban me, cause right now I've no interest in being part of a forum where a mod thinks it's okay to paint me as someone who is out to ruin his cousin's Bar Mitzvah.
LOL, go back and read the thread. I never accused you of that (though I DID accuse you of repeatedly putting words in other people's mouths, and now apparently doing it so as to justify a posture of taking offense). You talk about your unwillingness to accept others' beliefs, you said you care about what other people believe, but then you said you didn't care about my family's beliefs. So there is a discrepancy in your point of view that I would not have been able to point out unless I put that pressure on your ideas.

Quote:
Cause there was absolutely no reason to bring something like that up unless you were insinuating that my attitude about how ignoring dissension is not a positive measure of tolerance would somehow threaten people like you and your family.
Except that I didn't SAY any of this, nor did I MEAN anything like this. I told you above twice now that I did that to help illustrate how much or how little you actually care about other people's different beliefs.


Now please be big about this, stop arguing about the argument, stop going on a campaign to tell me what I REALLY meant, stop all the needless interpersonal stuff, and take this thread where you want it to go.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2008 08:11 am
@Aedes,
Aedes, how you can tell me to stop all the interpersonal stuff after you brought your own personal stuff into the discussion is completely goofy. You're also telling me to go back and read the thread, when it seems to me that you never even read it in the first place.

Quote:

You're mentioning the limits of your acceptance in the abstract


Where? The only limit of my acceptance that I mentioned was my limit to accept that agreeing with the statement "many religions can lead to eternal life" means people are more tolerant. What is abstract about that? Now you're putting words into my mouth. Do you prefer I call you kettle or pot?

Quote:

Now please be big about this,


Has anyone ever told you that you are both insulting and condescending to others? Cause if not, it's about time.

You accuse me of

Quote:

you backed off your point of view


bogus I did. Again, where? Because I said that I wasn't defending my personal view, but opposing the idea of painting people who don't agree with some attitude that society is pushing as being intolerant people. That wasn't backing off, that was me restating what I had been saying all along, which, again, you would have known had you bothered to actually read anything that I'd said this entire thread.

Bringing your family into this was an ugly move on your part.

Quote:

you said you care about what other people believe, but then you said you didn't care about my family's beliefs. So there is a discrepancy in your point of view


Where did I ever say, even once in this whole thread, that anyone else's belief system is my business, before you asked me that question, which ended up taking this whole discussion in a direction that it was never in before? This "discrepency" in my point of view had nothing to do with the prior parts of the thread, and only had anything to do with the question you posed that was out of context with the rest of the thread. Like I said, it was a trick question, cause you knew full well how I was going to answer it, which would give you this bs excuse to drag personal matters into the argument. Why? Because you'd completely run out of fuel for the original argument so you figured you could win it if you turned it into a personal defense. That was absolutely low down, dirty of you, Aedes, and if you're half the man that you want me to be when you say "be big about this" then you ought to be ashamed of yourself for doing it.

Quote:

stop going on a campaign to tell me what I REALLY meant


yet another example of you playing the part of the pot.

Quote:

take this thread where you want it to go.


Wait a minute here, you're the one who took this thread into all this "needless interpersonal stuff", and now you expect me to get the thread out of it? Forget you; do it yourself.
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2008 08:49 am
@Solace,
Looks like this is starting to turn into somewhat of an argument. Kindly step back and re-read these posts of the going back and forth. It really isn't necessary to start going at each others throats in a conversation such as this. If it looks like a post is leading in the wrong direction then it may be a good time to not respond for a 48 hour period until after careful thought and chosen words.
0 Replies
 
 

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