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the tolerance debate - time to move on?



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Administrative Note:
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Week's Agenda: Economy
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> How can the state forbid proselytisation while not regulating faith, > 
if proselytisation is part of the faith

On the face of it, reasonable question. But I might have a faith that 
requires eliminating kaffirs, surely the state can forbid that? I 
thought we all agreed on something so definite. At any rate, it is 
perfectly legitimate to have the opinion that anything can be regulated 
on reasonable grounds, whether or not it is part of anyone's faith. (at 
least the kaffir example suggests this is true).

Still, professor, I guess I should make a distinction between faith 
itself and actions based on it, as Manoj did. 

Since I've held up one end of this debate all by myself, I will now tell 
you a few things. I do this especially because several of you now feel 
that the debate is sick and want to move on.

(a) Moving on will not solve these problems. As I have already 
chronciled, there is a silent majority in favor of reform in these 
issues. While you were getting sick of the discussion, other people 
wrote me asking that I write up my views for their publication. As I 
said earlier, you can take it for what it is worth, the opinions I am 
defending exist quite plainly. If it makes you sick to discuss a 
perfectly topical matter, then that's all there is to it.

(b) You have to decide which form of conflict resolution is preferable 
to you. There is a small group of people who think that by explaining 
their positions (and that of the religious right) to others, they can 
create a reasonable central position. Behind them is a corps of many 
more people who are quite indifferent to mosque-breaking or nun-rapings. 
If my arguments make you sick, you can always try dealing with the more 
hardline types. 

(c) Sanjeev, please stop putting a childish spin on things. I did not 
suggest that if Bill Gates doesn't give you a job, you should shoot him. 
But it is possible for the government to make sure that some people from 
a given caste or religion don't have easy access to jobs. The lack of 
such opportunities might drive their families into poverty and even 
death as a result. I was pointing out this type of "economic" force is 
just as deadly as physical force whereby those families could simply be 
killed. I have no idea why you tried to make it look farcical. Don't 
make me stop responding to you, I like debating opinions with you, but 
the last two interactions have produced patronization and twisting my 
words.

Ash

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