• Articles

  • Testimonials

  • Videos

  • Rants

  • Dr. Valerie Tarico

  • Dr. Marlene Winell


  • Recent Forum Testimonials

  • Letters


  • Recently Popular Blog Posts

Can Truth make us intolerant?

By Paul So ~

I often hear from people that asserting certain statements as true in regards to religion can make someone intolerant. This isn’t entirely hard to understand since in the domain of religion truth and value are often so mixed together as equivalent. If your religious belief is not true then it follows that it has no value, if it is true then it follows that it has value. To say that it is false you are implying that the religion has no value which happens to be insulting people with religious sensibilities. In this sense I understand why claiming that a certain religion is false is considered not only rude but intolerant.

However I want to point out that truth does not make people intolerant: what people do with that truth can lead to intolerance. Intolerance is thrown around so much by so many people, including those with strong multicultural sensibilities that it has become a meaningless rhetorical word. The term has become so broad that even calling a religion false is considered intolerant. What I want to point out is that intolerance just means unwilling to harmoniously co-exist with another member of society but rather perpetuate conflicts with another member of society through discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse due to the member’s culture or religion. That is very different from simply disagreeing with another member of society. Disagreement just means that not only you do not share the same beliefs with another member of society but your beliefs can conflict with that of other members. But conflicting beliefs among members does not have to lead to harmful conflicts among members, such conflicts can be managed with through civil and rational discussion. Responsibly managing conflicts in more constructive manner prevent harmful and unnecessary conflict. Responsibly managing conflict is essentially part of what it means to be tolerant.

If you refuse to manage conflicts responsibly in order to opt for a more harmful confrontation that reduces civil relationships into a verbal dog fight then you are intolerant. However, if you want a higher moral high ground then manage the conflicts like a responsible human being, but if you cannot then just avoid those conflicts. What is most important here is that we manage such conflicts through rational and civil discussions. I admit, it’s a slow and gradual process than simply landing your fist on someone else’s jaws or throwing ad hominem attacks in front of someone’s face. But it’s still a much more mature and better approach.

So truth does not make people intolerant, what makes people intolerant is how they deal with conflicting interests and beliefs. How people deal with conflicting interests and beliefs pertains more or less to personal disposition and motives rather than simply the truth. The truth is just simply what the case about reality is, it doesn’t have emotions, and it is indifferent to our feelings and opinions. 2 + 2 = 4 and a triangle has three angles do not really ‘feel’ anything, they simply are the case, regardless of how we feel. It’s not as though “2+2=4” believers hate the “2+2=5” believers, but there are certain statements such as “God exists” or “God probably does not exist” that fires us up because we develop emotional attachment to such statements due to our personal experiences. So truth as a whole has very little to do with intolerance, it is simply our arbitrary attitudes to certain statements that is potentially responsible for intolerance.

Tolerance, then, requires temperament and self-control of our personal tendencies in favor for civility and rationality. If you disagree with someone simply state your reasons why, and hopefully that person will respond likewise. It should be as simple as that but unfortunately this is not always the case.


Filed Under: ,

About ExChristian.Net

The ExChristian.Net blog exists for the express purpose of encouraging those who have decided to leave Christianity behind. It is not an open challenge for Christians to avenge what they perceive as an offense against their religious beliefs. Please read the site disclaimer prior to posting comments.





RSS Feed
  • Popular This Week:

  • Post Categories

  • Special Contributors

A. Uiet Bhor (8) Agnosticator (9) Alegria (3) Alen Basic (1) Apostate Paul (3) Astreja (16) Atheist Dad (1) atheistnurse (10) AtheistToothFairy (6) Avangelism Project (7) Bill J (17) billybee (10) Bob P (9) Bob R (5) boomSlang (2) Brian B (5) Brian Kellogg (8) Brisancian (2) Brother Jeff (9) Bruce Gerencser (2) Bruno Corey (1) Butch (2) C. T. Ogden (4) Calladus (5) Carl S (149) Carol Putnam (2) Cheryl Ensom Dack (6) Chris W. (1) Christian Agnostic (2) ChuckyJesus (7) ConversationsWithA (7) D. R. Khashaba (6) DagoodS (17) Daniel Morgan (2) Daniel out of the Lion's Den (13) Dano (28) darklady (7) Dave8 (1) DealDoctor (27) Dennis Diehl (1) Dethblight (6) dharma (4) Discordia (4) DocMIke (30) Doubting Thomas (2) Doug John (1) Dr. Marlene Winell (40) Dr. Valerie Tarico (155) DRC (2) EChamberlainMD (11) Ed (Teapot) (2) Eric Jeffries (2) eveningmeadows (13) Evid3nc3 (4) ex-Pastor Dan (22) exfundy (8) exPenty (8) Faithfool (2) freddieb42 (2) Freethinking Okie (1) Gabe (3) God-O-Rama (6) Godlessgrrl (5) Greenworld (4) Houndies (3) Ian (14) Incongruous Circumspection (11) J.C. Samuelson (25) J.W. (2) JadedAtheist (2) Jake Rhodes (3) James A. Haught (3) James C (4) Jody (5) John Blatt (8) John Botha (1) John Fraysse (7) John Loftus (26) John Shores (9) Kalos (4) Kevin Parry (1) Klym (11) Larry C (5) Larry Spencer (5) Libby Anne (3) Log1cd1ctat3s (2) Lorena (16) lungfish (1) Micah_Cowan (3) Michael Sherlock (5) Mriana (38) MtlRedAtheist (8) Nikki (1) Nvrgoingbk (7) NYdiva (2) ooglyman (2) Patrice (2) Paul So (26) Philippe Orlando (3) Philonous (1) Politics (43) Positivist (5) Psy-Cop (1) psychman33 (4) Rational Okie (3) Renoliz (10) Rev Ex-Evangelist (6) RickO (3) RubySera (1) Rudy (4) SailerFraud (5) Sam Singleton (5) SConner (2) SeageVT (3) Sharon (3) Simplex Munditiis (3) Son of a preacher (5) Stephen F. Uhl (4) Stronger Now (3) summerbreeze (24) Susan G. Bonella (3) tekHedd (2) The New Heretics (4) The STeWpId MoNkEy (4) The Thylacine (2) TheThinkingAtheist (5) Thin-ice (3) ThinkTank (5) Thomas (1) Tim Simmons (23) Tim Whistorn (2) True Anathema (4) TruthSurge (11) Tyrone Williams (5) undercover agnostic (8) unoder (7) Victor J Webster (2) Vyckie (11) Webmdave (67) WizenedSage (121) xrayman (6) xxkindofboredxx (2) Zach Moore (13)
  • Recommended Reading: Support ExChristian.Net When Shopping

Whenever you shop at Amazon.Com, please consider beginning your shopping experience by clicking any Amazon.Com links on this site first. By doing so, ExChristian.Net will receive a small commission, no matter what you might purchase.

The price you'll pay for Amazon.Com products will be the same regardless of how you arrive at the Amazon.Com website, but by using our website as your entrance point to Amazon.Com, you'll provide financial support to ExChristian.Net.