Fantastic thread, people. I'm interested in the conversation about belief-systems, and what is True. Belief is not Knowledge, Truth, but I think that different beliefs can bring the same Truth, as long as we remember our beliefs are essentially just opinions. If we follow the right ones, there is a twinkling of Knowledge...? Of course, belief can be wrong!
(The woman, who was hallucinating...my Auntie went through something similar when she was dying. I decided then, that my beliefs should be taken care of properly through life, so when it came to my mind losing touch with my body, it might be less frightening.)
I think all religions are in place for the same reason-safety in numbers. Faith is personal- personal connection to The Universal.
I've been cat-called all the heatheny names under the sun by a supposed Christian, and told in no uncertain terms that I was going to hell, but I think that was more to do with a lack of faith, than a wealth of it, and yes, it was funny.
Who knows, eh? I'm thinking of Plato's cave analogy. When the man left the cave of flickering shadows dancing on the wall, and saw The Real Sun for himself, the thought of going back, to convince the others rapt in the lookalike reflection, of The Real Sun must have been a moral dilemma!
Who would believe him?
As for Respect and Tolerance. Well, they're qualities that can be squashed by their opposites.
Could you respect and tolerate a religious/political group who violently invaded your Country, and outlawed your language and culture? Or, could you tolerate a man enforcing rule his wife, and subjegating her through psychological bullying? It's how we've shaped The World (it's only lately that equality has been given back to people other than 'important white men'). I find it difficult to get over that, and end up respecting and tolerating the disrespectul, and intolerant!?!
ps; I do believe that giving an honest opinion is very mannerly. What's the point of communication if we refuse to communicate, either by stroking someone's hair, and telling them they're right when they sound wrong, or pig-headedly continuing invective against another's opinion, even if, deep down, it might be right? Then, there's the 'saying nothing about hate-speech' and passing that off as Tolerance...grrr!
[This message has been edited by kif kif (06-03-2006 10:47 AM).]