Tolerance vs. Validation

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by 5stringJeff, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    There's a real difference between tolerance and validation, and I think the line is confused in many cases, but especially when talking about religion.

    Tolerance is definied as :the capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others. (www.dictionary.com) In America, the government is instructed to tolerate the religious beliefs of all its citizens. As Americans, we regularly practice toleration of different religious beliefs; we understand that not everyone believes the same as we do, but we are under obligation to allow them to believe that way.
    Not all countries are like this. Saudi Arabia, for example, regularly jails people for speaking about Christianity, or even for possessing Bibles. North Korea jails people for just about everything, but on their list of official no-nos is professing faith in religion. Sri Lanka and Myanmar are two other countries that come to mind in which toleration is not practiced. In essence, toleration is the freedom of religion that Americans enjoy because of the First Amendment.

    Validation, on the other hand, is something different. It is defined as: the act of validating; finding or testing the truth of something. But many today confuse the meaning of these two words. Many people say that we should "tolerate" all religions, when what they mean is that we should validate all religions. We can - and do - tolerate all religions; however, because different religions have mutually exclusive tenets, we cannot validate the truth of all of them equally. For example, either there is one personal Creator God, as Judaism, Chrsitianity, and Islam teach, or there is not, as Hinduism, Buddhism, and humanism teach. Either it is right to kill in the name of your faith, as Islam teaches, or it is wrong, as Christianity teaches. By testing religions in this way, we can get to a point where we can validate the truth about each religion and ascertain which (if any) is correct.
     
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  2. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Nicely said, Jeff! As Rush Limbaugh so eloquently observed, "Words mean things". The term, "tolerance", is routinely abused by those who, in reality, are grossly INtolerant.
     
  3. wolvie20m
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    wolvie20m Member

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    Gave me another way to look at allot of things, thanks.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    bump
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Jeff, thank you. That was very concise and on the mark! :thup:
     
  6. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Thanks! :D
     
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  7. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    :)

    I tolerate and validate thread-bumps.

    :D
     
  8. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    I dig your post. However, I find the phrase "truth about each religion" to be perilously ambiguous.

    Let me explain.. in citing monotheism vs multiple manifestations of deities, creator etc, as well as citing whether or not killing is permissible, you say that one can determine "the truth about a particular religion". By this I infer, and agree with, that passing judgement on a religion based on its dogmatic principles, you can determine whether or not a religion has 'moral truth'. That is to say, you can pass judgement on a religion's "truth" vis-a-vis your own moral worldview. I think this is, to an extent, a feasible task.

    However, "the truth about each religion", as I read what you have written, is analous to "the true religion". In other words, the only "correct" religion. In this regard, examining dogmatic precepts can and will never reveal a "true" religion.

    In other words, the philisophical framework behind your idea includes (but is by no means limited to) that a "true religion" does exist, regardless of whether it has been 'discovered' or 'practiced' in its "true" form. I don't agree with you that contrasting and comparing religions under any criterian will reveal the answer to this question, which is why to this day religions are called "faiths"; their truths are self-evident to the believer and require no empircial foundation, nor could an empirical foundation or 'proof' ever logically be constructed for it.
     
  9. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I think I understand what you are saying. Let me rephrase my point. By examining the tenets of various religions (or moral/ethical system) and comparing them to historical facts, sociological studies, etc. etc., we should be able to determine the truthfulness of a religion's (system's) claims.
    For example, let's say that religion X claims that the world is currently rotating on an infinite stack of turtles. However, we have seen pictures from space that clearly show that there are no such turtles. We understand that religion X is wrong about that claim, and can infer that other claims by religion X may also be wrong, or at the very least, should be held to greater scrutiny.
    Using such a method, I believe one can verify (or discredit) the claims of any belief system, arriving at the one which is most truthful/correct.
     
  10. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    Got it. "Most truthful" cleared it up for me.
     

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