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Is education the key to tolerance and understanding??

Kind of a no-brianer isn't it?? If so then why don't we all try to educate ourselves on the religious beliefs of others before we try to convince them our religion is the "right" one? Why are some people just so closed-minded??

I used to feel so under attack when JW’s would come knocking at my door. But, because of some of the posts here that have been aimed at educating others about their path I actually felt obligated to answer my door today. I said something like “Thank you, I realize why you are here, but I have studied long & hard, and I have a path that suits me to a T. But thank you for knocking, and trying to do something nice for me.” The two ladies were practically speechless. It was all very pleasant, and left me feeling better for it.

Anyone else have an experience with being more tolerant of others beliefs because of simply learning about another’s religion/path??


Asked by Anonymous at 3:20 PM on Nov. 17, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • I have always been a firm believer in the idea that Education breeds Tolerance. In fact that's the idea I based my End Religious Intolerance and Ignorance Group on. We can't truly accept one another until we can understand each other, and we can't do that without knowledge. The more and more I learn about different religions the more respect I have for the followers and the more I can ignore some of the extremists.

    I think what has happened is that most people only come in contact with non-mainstream religions on the news or through the eyes of Hollywood. Both of which rarely show the minority as the good guys. Look at all the hate being flung at Muslims since 9/11, even though the Muslim religion had NOTHING to do with the actions of the people that committed those crimes. Or look at the hate people show towards LDS members simply because of the FLDS scandal. Proper religious education can end that hate!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:05 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • I don't think it necessarily goes hand in hand. There are a lot of people that are educated and are still rude : ) That would mean that all the people that insult Christianity, Mormonism, or even Atheist are not educated about it; and that is not true.

    But I see what you are saying, and I do agree that we should be open to communicate respectfully and learn about what others believe. I do not consider myself "open minded" in the popular sense but I do consider myself respectful to other people. I think discussion even when we disagree can be healthy.

    Often times people do insult other people. It can be because they are not educated. But usually people are rude just because the want to be.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 3:28 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • I have faith. Faith that everything happens for a reason and it is God's will. Above all else, I believe that having faith in the will of God and through Jesus Christ will get you through life a whole lot easier and with more certainty. If someone chooses to believe or not to believe, that is their choice. I respect that. I am at peace with it. Although, I feel a whole lot better about myself when I am courageous enough to speak out about what I believe in as well.

    Answer by texasmommy69 at 3:31 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • oooh, oooh, me, me, me...pick me!

    I say that all the time. Knowledge IS power. But ppl will kill, steal and try to destory you if you elaborate.

    Closed minds keep ppl blinded. And you know what, the sad part about religion is that it is a big battle over right and wrong. If we could all learn to put aside our religious beliefs (what someone else TOLD us) then life would be great. Unfortunately, fear keeps ppl religious, and religon keeps ppl bound.

    Answer by sugahmamma at 3:34 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • Friendship is the key to ending intolerance. It's really hard to be ignorant to someone else because of their religion when you're already their friend for so many other things you have in common. I've encountered some of the most knowledgeble people being the most intolerant because they use their inteligence and knowledge to belittle what everyone else thinks and won't even hear other people out. What anyone else thinks must be wrong or stupid because it's not the conclusion they came to so on and so forth. I've met pastors who study other religions excessively just to be able to say why those religions are wrong. It goes both ways. People insult others out of lack of knowledge or misunderstanding too.


    Answer by NovemberLove at 3:35 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • I think many more would be open minded if they took the time out to explore different cultures/religions. But, there will always be those that will have it no other way than their own.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 4:04 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • You are so right. When I was in High School, I went to private school. Our curriculum had 2 mandatory semesters of religion. You had to pick a religion that was not your own for each semester. Those were our electives. We didn't have wood shop or other more colorful electives like in public schools. But you could choose from a large variety of religions. It was quite educational.

    Answer by texasmommy69 at 4:11 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • I agree wholeheartedly with this post and especially NovemberLove's comment. It's hard not to listen when you are personally invested in the speaker. Even if you don't agree with them, your concern and love for them make you want to listen and at least understand why they believe what they believe.

    Answer by WindyTheWidow at 5:01 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • I was so open minded my brains fell out and now I don' know what to believe...

    Answer by writeon at 5:29 PM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • I agree with November's answer, but I also feel that confidence in your own religion helps too. For example, I am secure in my faith as a born again Christian. So I am not threatened by other faith's. I can learn about Islam without converting or worrying about being led off. I'm also confident enough in my faith that I don't have to "prove" it to someone else to feel validated. I hope that all made sense.

    Answer by teamquinn at 6:34 PM on Nov. 17, 2009