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Re: Ash's views on Tolerance

Administrative Note:

Week's Agenda: Economy

This is in response to Ash's views on tolerance.                        
Ash wrote:                                                              
"Every social organization must have its boundaries, so that it is very 
clear who the laws apply to, and which persons agree to abide by the 
rules of organization set forth in the society. It must first be clear 
who WE are. We encountered this problem with language and with religion. 
In both cases, you offered the opinion that the groups bound by the 
existing laws of the union of India constitute the "we", I pointed out 
that it is the very nature of these laws that lead some groups to say 
that certain others are not part of 
their society. I propose we step back and thrash this out before going 
on to more topics. These differences will keep coming up." 
             I agree. These differences exist and postponing a 
discussion on them till 2010AD will not make them disappear till then. 
Now on to the areas of disagreement.                                    

Ash wrote:                                             "My point of 
view (where others may disagree) is that this tolerance is best 
preserved when we are not vested with the right to try to change each 
others' faith. The minute you claim the right to try to change my faith, 
I am disinclined to treat you as an equal member of my society. It's 
that simple. If we must be tolerant, then we must both be. 
Proselytization is UNFAIR to me".                                               Well, Ash, I do disagree. As soon 
as I tell another to give up a part of his faith [in this case the idea 
of bringing the lost sheep into the fold of the shepherd], I am 
intruding on an area which is none of my business. Tolerance has to 
extend to the entire gamut of another's faith, not just to those parts 
that I find unobjectionable. Also, believing in the norms of democracy, 
I do believe that it is the right of ANYBODY to try and change my 
opinion on ANY issue, as long as I am not physically coerced into 
changing my opinions. The issue may be my honesty or my religion; a 
peaceable attempt to change my mind would not leave me disinclined to 
treat the other as an equal member of my society. Proselytization is not 
unfair to me because I retain the right to say NO. This brings us to the 
issue of economic force vs. physical force. I don't agree that the use 
of economic force is in the same league as the use of physical force. If 
I am offered money to change my views/convictions, all I have to do is 
decide and communicate my answer. All it costs me is some time and some 
thought. On the other hand, if someone beats me up or destroys my 
property in an attempt to make me change my mind, it is most definitely 
a violation of my personal freedom and my fundamental rights. To this I 
object, and quite strenuously too.

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