Religious freedom has given birth to some interesting beliefs (outside of religious beliefs) as to how we should consider, think about, or believe about those who exercise their political freedom to believe what they want when that belief doesn’t coincide with our own.
Of course religious freedom means that we must tolerate each other’s beliefs: meaning that we don’t malign, hate, discriminate, or lash out verbally or physically against those who believe different than we do. And that includes those who believe in nothing at all.
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This freedom we enjoy, however, has also created some interesting beliefs of its own that do spill over into an almost “religious belief.” To begin with, and which seems to stand to reason due to the fact that each religion is so divergent from the other is the concept of “Exclusive Belief.” This idea, simply put, is that a person believes that the religion he accepts as “gospel,” is the only true religion sanctioned by God and designed to bring about God’s will for mankind. There is nothing new about this particular belief.
But the open mindedness that our religious tolerance has led to a newer concept: “Plurasim.” This idea is taking tolerance a step further by excluding the idea that there is only one true religion. God, in essence didn’t have a particular plan for mankind, but had many. This means that all religions are true – at least for those who practice that particular religion. This isn’t quite the same as taking tolerance to acceptance, but it is bringing it really close.
The final idea which religious tolerance has led to is the idea that one’s religion is the only true religion, but that other religions have elements of truth to them. This is more an “Inclusive Belief,” where though the other religions don’t quite get what God had in mind, they have stumbled across some of the true faith and are therefore partially correct in their thinking.