Tolerance vs. Reason

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by 5stringJeff, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I'm finishing a book called "Persecution" by David Limbaugh. In it, Limbaugh exposes the many ways in which the political Left actively opposes public displays of Christian symbols, public Christian expressions of faith or prayers, etc. But the most revealing thing to me was his treatment of Tolerance.

    As most everyone knows, tolerance is a great virtue in today's society - arguably the most important, according to many. And I don't mean tolerant in that we are kind and/or nice to a person with differing beliefs; I mean that tolerance which demands that we accept their beliefs as equal to our own. We are supposed to be tolerant of homosexuality, for instance, and tolerant of other religions, and tolerant of people's moral and ethical codes.

    But can we truly be tolerant of something which opposes our own moral/ethical view? The most popular example of this, having been in the news for several months, is the issue of gay marriage. Bible-believing Christians oppose homosexual behavior as sinful, giving rise to their opposition to gay marriage. But the religiously secular community, along with the homosexual lobby, commands our "tolerance" for their viewpoint. If we can't be tolerant, then we are no better than Hitler, bin Laden, Stalin, etc., who were not tolerant of people who opposed them.

    But should a Christian be tolerant - accepting - of homosexual behavior? My answer is no. For a Christian to accept a behavior that goes against the teachings of Christianity would be to say, "Some tenets of God's teaching are fine, but some are not, and I get to choose which is which." This obviously violates the doctrines of Christianity - and the other Western religions - which claim that God's judgments are sovreign, and that His is the final authority over right and wrong; thus, a thinking person could not at once embrace Christianity and acceptance of homosexuality as moral equals; one must be morally superior to the other.

    This is not to say that we should be hateful towards those whose beliefs we cannot tolerate. I believe with all my heart that we should "love your neighbor as yourself." The 'God Hates Fags' movement is just as wrong about God's Word as the homosexual movement, for God scorns hate just as much as homosexual behavior. But that does not mean that God hates those people; rather, He loves them just as dearly as the most pious. What I am saying is that we cannot be intellectually honest with ourselves if we demand that a person hold two opposing moral views with equal acceptance.

    Sorry this ran long. Thoughts?
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Was that the god vs. mammon speech in the bible?
     
  3. HGROKIT
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    HGROKIT Active Member

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    Here is how I see it.

    I do not have to hold anyone's beliefs as equal to my own in order to be tolerant. If I must hold anyones beliefs equal to my beliefs to meet their idea of tolerance, then I would have to say I am intolerant.

    I for example believe homosexuality to be contrary to my value and belief system. Therefore, I do not support same sex marriage. Am I intolerant of the Gay/Lesbian community? I don't believe so, I practice no hatred or violent acts against them. Live and let live.

    But I am not required to hold their values equal to mine in order to be tolerant of theirs. Tolerance does not constitute approval on my part.

    Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

    Main Entry: tol·er·ance
    Pronunciation: 'tä-l&-r&n(t)s, 'täl-r&n(t)s
    Function: noun
    2 a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own b : the act of allowing something : TOLERATION

    I believe indulgence is the operative word here. Don' see anything in the definition regarding equality of beliefs.
     
  4. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Good point ! and then you can let both sides play it out. When the other side screws up or gets some bad media you can jump up and down and tell yourself " I told you so ! I'm right--I'm right"
     
  5. HGROKIT
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    HGROKIT Active Member

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    huh?
     
  6. UsaPride
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    UsaPride Senior Member

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    I like that! I agree with you. I don't have to like something or even give my approval to something to tolerate it.
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Its live and let live------tolerance isnt condoning but if you allow the other to continue with what you think is the wrong way, then

    1. they find out for themselves the error of their ways (works better than cramming something down thier throat)

    2 if they fail it's an affirmation for your belief system.

    3 if they succeed, you have an opportunity to accept it as yours also or continue on your merry way

    its a win-win situation unless you feel as if you have to protect people from themselves.
     
  8. Socrates
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    Socrates Guest

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    I completely agree. Tolerance isn't about adopting views contrary to your own. It's about letting others live their lives the way they think best, and they return the favor. This is clearly the best way to run a society, for the reasons listed above.
     
  9. KLSuddeth
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    KLSuddeth Guest

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    Damn fine post and subject matter, Jeff :) :clap:

    As per my usual M.O. (lol), I will need to think and pick my thoughts apart before responding :)
     
  10. menewa
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    menewa Member

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    How come Christians simply pick and choose what to follow out of the bible. Jeff, you oppose gay/lesbian marriage b/c the bible tells you so. But it also tells you not to eat pork and to stone your wife to death if she cheats on you. The Old Testament is full of crazy laws we, thankfully, no longer follow. Why do you choose to follow some of the rules in the bible, but not all of them?
     

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