There are not over a 100 people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing.- Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Truth or Tolerance?

After a quick google search of the title, this seems like a question that is predominantly asked by Catholics about religion and by Christians in general about homosexuality. I would like to discuss the former.

So, this began with curiosity over whether there was any... historical... logical... proof that Buddha reached Nirvana. The point of Nirvana is that you never come back. This is on top of the fact that reincarnation through "karmic energy" at con. I wonder how abortion works in karma? If you die before you're born, then get reincarnated in someone else's womb, get aborted again...

Anyway, just searching for 'Buddhism' led me to an interesting site:
So naturally, it would be fair to see what they believe truth to be:
"Absolute Truth"
"One True Religion?"

The main points being:
  • Unless God were to take the initiative, it appears that there is no way for humans to determine which religion is "true."
  • If one set of theological beliefs is absolutely, objectively, universally true, then its corresponding set of moral truths would also be absolute. But there is no way in which we can currently know which set, if any, is true...Until we can all reach a consensus on a common set of theological beliefs, we will never achieve agreement on moral questions.
It then goes on into a  discussion over how if people lessened their grip on truth, they could increase their tolerance of other religions.

I personally don't want truth and tolerance to be mutually exclusive like this. We need to hold to the absolute truth, otherwise we are living in a fantasy we created, not the world as it is, or I could say, not the world God created. But it is impractical to completely reject other faiths because they only agree with the truth for X%, and not 100%. Catholics are not either-or people, we are both-and people.

There's also the problems of imperfect people and demonic influence. People grow up in a particular religion and just accept the practices without much questioning of the doctrine, sometimes. Thus, even if their religion held the truth, they are not able to defend it. For the second, should Satanism and Voodoo really be tolerated, even if its proponents aren't killing people en masse? Religions come from three sources: worship of God, worship of Satan or demons, or worship of yourself. Only God is worthy of worship. Does it jeopardize tolerance to tell someone they're worshiping a creature rather than the creator? If you force them to accept God, then you hurt their dignity and free will, then that is the real intolerance. 

Should tolerance be viewed from and Enlightenment perspective (which is the foundation of most of the secular, atheist culture we live in). Is democracy really the way to solve religious law, and thus, moral issues? What about "gender equality" or "sexual orientation equality?" To the Enlightenment, (after reading a lot of Buddhist explanations, the name 'enlightenment' now sounds anti-Christian to me, interestingly) the physical differences between women and men are superficial and do not indicate an underlying complementarity. Sadly, I believe feminism in this country has stopped being about doing what's best for women, as God made them, and has become more about promoting abortions and making men feel bad.

Is being tolerant really tolerant? In our country we've had a epidemic of vocal "tolerant" people who do nothing other than attack the "intolerant" people. Nobody can be "tolerant" of everything: no human society could hold together if we were (along the same line, if atheism really practiced what it preached, no moral law would hold and thus no human society could hold together). Thus to be tolerant, you must be tolerant of intolerance. If you tell both a Buddhist and a Catholic "you're right" then both will be insulted  at your misuse of tolerance and truth. If you stand on the ground of a Catholic and say to a Buddhist "you have some things right", then the neither is insulted, and the truth is not jeopardized, it is applauded. 

Besides, who controls truth? God. To try to deny truth in the name of tolerance is a injustice to tolerance, and it holds the arrogance and pride of saying you know better than God.

2104  "All men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and his Church, and to embrace it and hold on to it as they come to know it."26 This duty derives from "the very dignity of the human person."27 It does not contradict a "sincere respect" for different religions which frequently "reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men,"28 nor the requirement of charity, which urges Christians "to treat with love, prudence and patience those who are in error or ignorance with regard to the faith."29
2105 The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is "the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ."30 By constantly evangelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them "to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live."31 The social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church.32 Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies.33
2106 "Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others, within due limits."34 This right is based on the very nature of the human person, whose dignity enables him freely to assent to the divine truth which transcends the temporal order. For this reason it "continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it."35
2107 "If because of the circumstances of a particular people special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional organization of a state, the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom must be recognized and respected as well."36
2108 The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error,37 but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. This natural right ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right.38
2109 The right to religious liberty can of itself be neither unlimited nor limited only by a "public order" conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner.39 The "due limits" which are inherent in it must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority in accordance with "legal principles which are in conformity with the objective moral order."40 
(Emphasis is mine: if the CCC had emphasized parts it would ALL be bolded... each word and sentence were selected with that much care and meaning)

No comments:

Post a Comment