We're all well-aware of how much harm has been done by adherents of various belief systems. As someone once said, "If you want to beat a dog, you can always find a stick." Not a nice thought, I know, but the point is it's very easy to bash other belief systems? So we're not going to do that.

Can we hold our own beliefs without having to denigrate the beliefs of others? How far do we go for the sake of love and tolerance? Do we simply tolerate, or must we accept the validity of the others' beliefs? Does love demand we accept the others or only accept their right to believe differently?

Does your belief system allow you to embrace other systems in an attitude of love and tolerance? Is it possible to find good points in every belief system?

asked 18 Nov '09, 09:24

John's gravatar image


Interesting questions that really made me think.

Can we hold our own beliefs without having to denigrate the beliefs of others? It's easy to say yes, but more difficult to practice. For example, we see suicide bombers on the news, people who sacrifice animals, sects that preach hatred, some who beat their children, some who murder, and more, in the name of their religion. We can say we will respect the beliefs of all others, but personally I can't, and don't. Morally, I feel I have to draw a line with some things, and would actually try to stop some of these people from what they do, were I able to, in a most disrespectful way. Am I right? I don't know! I TRY to tolerate, accept and love, as most people do, but realistically some things seem just too much. Honestly, some actions seem worthy of my repugnance, so I am saying my tolerance only goes so far since we are here in this imperfect world with a lot of mean people.


answered 25 Nov '09, 04:07

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

Can you hate the sin and love the sinner?

(25 Nov '09, 08:57) John

I can try John.

(25 Nov '09, 16:26) LeeAnn 1

Yes, I try to find the similarities of religious belief systems. I have respect for other's beliefs; I have Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Catholic Christian, and Non-Catholic Christian friends. I don't try to change their happiness; they found God in their own ways that are native to their parts of the world; had I lived there I probably would be something else too, so I will not judge them and their ways.

There is just one thing that I can't tolerate; but I don't voice my opinion on because it is their religious belief and that is animal blood sacrifices; I can't stand to see this done and it is upsetting.

The negative religions are ones I can't tolerate as well, all religions of love and peace I can embrace as good and needed. Those are toleration things; in other words, stuff we may disagree with but put up with because we believe no one should be forced into any belief; but the religions of light, love and peace those instead of toleration we can have understanding with.

I believe toleration leads to war; it is putting a cap on a boiling pot of discontent: "they're doing that again I hate that! But I'm not going to say anything to keep the peace, it is their right." See that leads to eventual war.

Tolerance is not as good as understanding; will I ever understand smearing animal blood all over your self and everything you own as being something holy??? No I really don't think so, so we come back to the tolerance thing again. The thing I do understand is the people that do it believe it is holy so for them it is for them what they consider right and holy.

For me personally Christ is where I'm at, Jesus came to teach us who we really are we powerful co-creators in God.


answered 18 Nov '09, 19:22

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 21 Nov '09, 07:03

Vesuvius's gravatar image


Thanks for your thoughts. I have also had many friends of various belief systems and I find that it always helps to put a human face on those systems. It is too easy to allow negative, harmful feelings to arise when we depersonalize those who follow a way that's hard for us to understand.

(19 Nov '09, 07:45) John

Yes much agreed John, exactly.

(19 Nov '09, 07:55) Wade Casaldi

I believe it is possible - and in fact, such belief systems already exist. The problem of intolerance is not with belief systems, but with people themselves. People psychologically naturally have an "in" and "out" group mentality. Our brains are judgmental, and note down differences - but thankfully, they also like to sort out puzzles and connect things.

I do not necessarily consider this undesirable. I look at it like this - if there is no difference, then you cannot recognize yourself, nor can you have any real experiences without contrast...and thus you cannot grow. The placcid, agreeable partner quickly becomes dull and is thrown aside for another who will cause one to have new experiences and grow. With this view, the differences are not only tolerable - but outright desirable on some level and thus, one becomes more willing to embrace them. With time, things that are not helpful to a person, or population are done away with in favor of those that aid better living - and if they do not, they are inevitably stamped out by their own "self"(whether they perceive what they damage as 'self' or not) damaging practices...and so we all grow.

But all that said, I (and perhaps we?) do not want to live for some fanciful later time. We also have reason to protect our own beliefs when they do conflict - and ultimately the freedom of ourselves and others. Thus, I personally draw the line when someone's beliefs conflict with the freedom of others (or themselves) - at such a point where freedom is restricted, then the opportunity for mutual growth is stunted. At that point, the belief - or rather action due to the belief - is intolerable to me.

But I am still incredibly young. No doubt, my beliefs on this will change - as they already have numerous times. This has allowed me to clarify my beliefs to myself in this particular case better, so thank you, John.


answered 19 Nov '09, 08:31

Liam's gravatar image


You're welcome, and thank you Liam, for your insights.

(19 Nov '09, 08:47) John

Most religious systems have a fundamental core that is essentially identical (The supremacy of love, the belief in a supreme being or energy, etc). Those beliefs are easy to embrace. It's the beliefs that surround this core that can become problematic.

Where tolerance stops is where your faith begins to harm others. We all know who these people are. They don't even have the capacity to read their own holy book correctly.


answered 18 Nov '09, 15:51

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 18 Nov '09, 15:59

Can you tolerate (maybe even embrace) those who refuse to tolerate you? What about when "these people" are simply reacting out of fear and ignorance based on the information they have been given? Is their room among those who are more "enlightened" to feel some love and caring for them? I always try to put it in the context of how I would deal with one of my sons if I disagreed strongly with their beliefs, and how I would feel toward them if they (hypothetically) were intolerant of others. I would still love them and care for them, trying gently to lead them to understanding.

(19 Nov '09, 07:38) John

The people that I am referring to do not want or desire our love and caring. They have only contempt for us, and they would certainly have profound contempt for your attempt to change how they feel and what they believe.

(19 Nov '09, 14:59) Vesuvius

That said, I believe you can love the person, but still resist the harm that they do. http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/1830/is-unconditional-love-the-strongest-power-we-possess/1831#1831

(21 Nov '09, 06:52) Vesuvius
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

And ''if you want to teach a dog, use the same stick''. Once you get that dog to trust you, you can do whatever you like to its mind with the same tool.

In our case, this tool is belief. Beliefs can teach us to live in love, peace, understanding and respect, and they can be used to make us kill each other, burn each other, and control each other. As for that dog, the stick itself is not the issue. It's the master mind/servant mind relationship; this is the real danger. Once this relationship is active, the end is already known: a disaster. And it always start with a peaceful teaching of love and harmony .. then, in the wrong hands .. it turns into the most powerful weapon in existence: the weapon of mind/heart control.

As to answer your question, yes. This belief is possible to exist. In fact, there were many forms of this belief once. It lasted for few hundred years at best. Today, all violence, blood and war we all witness and seek to change, is the long term result. Are you really willing to take the same risk and repeat the same mistake ?

"Is it possible to find good points in every belief system?" .. Yes of course, but it's like finding an ancient white flag in the middle of a war zone. If you used it, you would be labeled as a traitor and both sides will forget their war for a moment and make sure that you die first.


answered 18 Nov '09, 16:10

Adel's gravatar image


edited 21 Nov '09, 06:56

Vesuvius's gravatar image


I guess I'd like to hear you answer to the question you pose ("are you really willing to take the same risk and repeat the same mistake")? If not this risk, is there some other way, or is humanity doomed?

(19 Nov '09, 08:00) John

Hi John. Personally I'm not willing to repeat this mistake and would do everything I could to change what already happened. in my opinion, knowledge systems is the cure, not belief systems. instead of beliefs we should spread enlightenment. humanity is doomed if that was its choice. and the choices of humanity are in the hands of each individual human mind. ''the all is one''

(20 Nov '09, 03:29) Adel



answered 19 Nov '09, 00:20

wildlife's gravatar image


Yet there are members of that Oneness who don't see it that way and are willing to kill those who are different from them. Does your proclamation mean you are willing to embrace such people in an attitude of love and/or tolerance?

(19 Nov '09, 07:52) John

Y-E-S! You see if you believe that your reality is your creation you have to DECIDE what reality do you want for yourself. You can't change ANYONE. You never did. And that's a good thing because you DON'T have to worry about ANYONE else. I see it as ALL of us are walking up a mountain top. The route that we'll take is ALWAYS diffrent but we are ALL going to end up together some day. The question is, where do YOU want to be? You wanna wait, trapped in the middle or climb up fast. You see judgment is one of those things that pulls us down. Get rid of it. Be EN-LIGHETENED. Lighten up :-)

(19 Nov '09, 17:49) wildlife

My Belief is simple, GOD only Unites.


answered 25 Nov '09, 02:45

Roy's gravatar image


Thanks Roy. Could you clarify, is that: 1) God only unites (and would never cause division); or 2) God only, among all beings, is the only one who unites?

Does this attribute of God mean that those who believe in such a God share the same attributes? If you believe in a uniting God, does that necessarily mean you believe in uniting people of every belief system?

(25 Nov '09, 08:51) John

Sorry John,yes I believe God only unites and does not divide.It does'nt matter how or what an other person believes in,thats not my job.My job is to accept what ever it is and grow from it.

(25 Nov '09, 11:36) Roy

If you do not believe others beliefs than you do not have to accept their beliefs. But you can check and recheck the data to the information of their belief and see does it have anything to make you want to believe thier belief but if not than yes you can agree to disagree if they let you. If not than you just dis-associate yourself from them if you all can't agree to disagree.

It depends on what the beliefs are for some are so harmful and horriable that is humanly unthinkable that someone could believe or do such a thing. So, if it is beyond your conceivable tollerance than you can not deal with their beliefs and persons in NO form are fashion.


answered 02 Dec '09, 05:52

flowingwater's gravatar image


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Asked: 18 Nov '09, 09:24

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Last updated: 02 Dec '09, 05:52

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