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May 7th, 2007

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12:34 am - Tolerance to other religions
Lately I had problems trying to convince one of those new-age "peace for all", "everyone is in his own right for anything", "each one's world point of view is fine", ...

As usual, he had the opinion: "You must tolerate any religion, as catholics, muslims, krisnas., because there aren't points of view better than other".

I wanted to convince him on that, that some "ways of thinking" are 'better' than other. In the sense of hapiness, of easiest living, etc. And sure I was against any of those "god-deciding"/"god-is-right"/"god-has-power" religions.

Lately, the 'revolutioning' parties in my country (Communists, ecologists, ...) seem to tolerate -anything-, and promote toleration for anything without judgment.

Maybe any of you have a good solid fundamental discourse on that?


(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
The misunderstanding about patents is understandable, I think, and is by design, for instance the constant word-abuse by such terms as ‘intellectual property’, which lawyers themselves inexcusably use. Of course the actual point of a patent is to put a design into the public domain. But the same thing is true of copyright, yet that is not what people are taught these days, and you can’t live long enough anymore to see something copyrighted in your lifetime go into the public domain.

The idea that all beliefs are ‘equally good’, however, I think that is something people do ‘on principle’—in other words by ignoring or ‘forgetting’ the ‘reality’ around them. They can bend language to make it happen; they can say, for instance, that the Soviet Union wasn’t ‘really’ Communist, or that George W. Bush isn’t ‘really’ ‘conservative’. That’s a very frustrating behavior to try to change in someone else.
[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
I agree with the statement of the problem. So more fundamental arguments should come into discussion.

Trying to convince people, in general, gives insight on comunication problems, reasoning problems, ... And helps getting conscious of the strength of the called 'moral' over reason.

I've found that when someone finds 'moral' and reason in contradiction, they choose 'moral' as more faithful.

In your last sentence... what's frustrating? The behaviour itself, or the attempt trying to change this in someone else? (I can't get that from my knowledge of English syntax :)
[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
I mean that it is hard to change the behavior in someone else.

Smoking addiction is a good example, I think, of a behavior that rarely can be changed by lectures. There are people, like my mother, who died young due to smoking, who cannot be made to stop by any reasonable method. Many others, however, can change their behavior, but not by lectures; they must get sick from the behavior, and then they can stop. Now consider the American people as a whole; they by and large believed that George W. Bush was a reliable leader and protector, despite all the lectures that more knowledgable could give them. However, the American people became very changeable after they saw George W. Bush let the city of New Orleans be destroyed by shoddy levees and then let the people of that city suffer and die from neglect. So I think we should try not so much to change people by lecturing, but instead to give them a consistent world-view they can switch to when hard ‘reality’ makes them receptive to change.

Isn’t that how it works in the theoretical sciences?

My approach as a proselytizing atheist :) who used to believe in ‘God’ is to tell people my reasoning, for instance to note that science and religion are actually incompatible (contrary to a common claim) and that by scientific standards the existence of gods is disproven; to note how we are only a few thousand years into the historic period, and are still half-primitive; that ‘faith’ is an inherently unreliable method for knowing ‘facts’, etc. But I have stopped expecting this to turn people into atheists; I just want my worldview to be available to them if and when ‘reality’ pushes them to change.
[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
In this case, I may have succeed with the concerned individual in the same way you expect to - he (probably) knows my point of view.

I added "probably", as although he warmly kept the discussion on at night, on the next day he seemed to have forgotten everything.

So I wouldn't claim a great success ;)
[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
That will happen. For them it’s like trying to remember what a triangle looks like, without knowing what a straight line looks like.

Tolerance to other religions - Ask An Atheist

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