Archive for the ‘toleration’ Category

organised religion…turns people into hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate

February 5, 2014

I love the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it, which I loved in Sunday school and I collected all the little stickers and put them in my book. But the reality is that organised religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.

Elton John

Not that he’s being judgmental or ‘hateful’ about every churchgoer you understand. I only hope he’s ‘compassionate’ enough to tolerate them. That would be awfully good of him. If only we could all learn to be as free of prejudice as Sir Elton.

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Was Constantine a champion of religious toleration?

June 20, 2011

Through the Edict of Toleration, (313 A.D), Constantine granted to “Christians and to all others full liberty of following that religion which each may freely choose.”

source

The beginnings of religious toleration?

Whoever boast of being ‘tolerant’ towards other beliefs while, at the same time, asserting that such beliefs are fundamentally no different to any other set of beliefs or that, even if they were, they do not make any decisive difference to a person’s life now or ever, is simply emptying the word tolerance of any moral value

November 11, 2009

Whoever boast of being ‘tolerant’ towards other beliefs while, at the same time, asserting that such beliefs are fundamentally no different to any other set of beliefs or that, even if they were, they do not make any decisive difference to a person’s life now or ever, is simply emptying the word tolerance of any moral value. At worst, it is simply a narcissistic endorsement of one’s own worldview.

Vinoth Ramachandra, The Recovery of Mission, p.271

Tolerance becomes apathy because tolerance initself does not logically represent a positive virtue or goal

November 11, 2009

Tolerance becomes apathy because tolerance in itself does not logically represent a positive virtue or goal. So the tolerant society can easily decline into a society that cares nothing for its own sustenance and continuity. The fact that the democracies constantly seem to have a crisis in their schools is important — it is a symptom of a crucial uncertainty about what there is to teach, about whether there is anything to teach.

Bryan Appleyard, Understanding the Present, Pan, 1993, p.14

racism, prejudice, homophobia, antisemitism, and hate of any kind, are, at the risk of sounding absolutist, always intolerable

November 10, 2009

As compassionate citizens we need to be adamantly intolerant of regimes that openly and intentionally victimize segments of their populations. Institutional racism, prejudice, homophobia, antisemitism, and hate of any kind, are, at the risk of sounding absolutist, always intolerable.

Moby, Play, 1999

Is hate always bad? Should we not hate error and that which enslaves and corrupts and is false? Should we not hate evil?

To develop tolerance is to develop a story about stories, a perspective on all our values and beliefs

November 10, 2009

You can only be truly tolerant of other people’s realities by having found some new way to inhabit your own…To develop tolerance is to develop a story about stories, a perspective on all our values and beliefs.

Anderson, W.T. (1990). Reality isn’t what it used to be: Theatrical politics, ready to wear religion, global myths, primitive chic, and other wonders of the post-modern world. San Francisco: Harper & Row. p.267f.

In other words, Anderson prescribes that ‘real’ tolerance (to ‘be truly tolerant’, like him) you must (no room for tolerance there, you must) have a constructivist view of ‘the nature of human truth’ and ensure that you say you hold your beliefs provisionally and not as the last word. You must, in short, change your beliefs (albeit allowing local colouring) to be like Anderson’s. Tolerance of intolerance is not tolerated of course. Got that?!

There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student in America believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative

September 26, 2009

The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it. (Students) have all been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society. That it is a moral issue for students is revealed by the character of their responses when challenged — a combination of disbelief and indignation: “Are you an absolutist?” the only alternative they know, uttered in the same tone as “Are you a monarchist?” or “Do you really believe in witches?” . . . the danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than 50 years has dedicated itself to inculcating. Openness – and the relativism that makes it the only plausible stance in the face of the various claims to truth and the various ways of life and kinds of human beings — is the great insight of our times. The true believer is the real danger. The study of history and culture teaches us that all the world was mad in the past, people always thought that they were right and that led to wars, persecution, slavery, xenophobia, racism and chauvinism. The point is not to correct the mistakes and be right, rather it is not to think that you are right at all.

There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student in America believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. That anyone should regard the proposition as not self-evident astonishes them, as if they were calling into question 2+2=4. These are things you don’t think about.

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind

Heresy and Intolerance

May 28, 2009

The only way to argue with a blasphemer is by running your sword through his bowels, as far as it will go.

St. Louis IX, King of France

I entirely detest heretics, and as Magistrate do promise assiduously to perform my duty in investigating them. Heresy is a kind of treason, and if a heretic persisteth in his false belief, he may be handed over to be burned.

St. Thomas More

If heretics be altogether uprooted by death, this is not contrary to Our Lord’s command.

St. Thomas Aquinas

Error will never be suppressed unless the criminal elements of depravity be consumed in flames.

Pope Clement XII

That it is against the will of the Spirit to burn heretics at the stake is condemned as false.

Pope Leo X

Even if my own father were a heretic, I would gather the wood to burn him at the stake.

Pope Paul IV

With regard to heretics, two arguments must be observed: one concerning themselves, the other from the aspect of the Church. On their own side, there is the sin whereby they deserve to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much more serious matter to corrupt the faith which gives life to the soul than to counterfeit that which supports temporal life. Wherefore, if counterfeiters and other evil-doers are immediately condemned to death by the secular authorities, there is much more reason for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, not only to be excommunicated but even put to death. On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy, which looks to the conversion of the wanderer; wherefore, she condemns not at once, but “after the first and second warning”, as the Apostle directs (Titus 3:10). After that, if he is still stubborn, the Church, no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church; and, furthermore, she delivers him over to the secular tribunal, thereby to be exterminated from the world by death.”

St. Thomas Aquinas

NB 1. No scriptural warrant is offered for these intolerant sentiments. Aquinas knew nothing of Paul’s actual sentiments who said (after a second warning) of a divisive person, ‘Have nothing to do with him’ (not, ‘burn him’).

2. How many of these many were heretics themselves? They assume that their obedience to Rome is obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ! Little did they know that many were semi or full-blown Pelagians and thus heretics themselves.

Luther’s Toleration

October 22, 2008

In 1527 Luther wrote with regard to the Anabaptists: It is not right, and I am deeply troubled that the poor people are so pitifully put to death, burned, and cruelly slain. Let everyone believe what he likes. If he is wrong, he will have punishment enough in hell fire. Unless there is sedition, one should oppose them with Scripture and God’s Word. With fire you won’t get anywhere.

pp.375-6 Here I Stand – A Life of Martin Luther, Penguin 2002, Roland H Bainton

There is much to criticise in Luther; he wasn’t as tolerant as he ought to have been. Yet, he wasn’t as intolerant as he is often made out.