It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.
The above quote is actually from a very famous and very agnostic scientist. While I do not agree that his philosophy of God is complete (note that I did not say that it was incorrect, simply incomplete), he makes a very good point. I have pondered on the thought of truth, relative morality, and tolerance of others’ beliefs for years now, and especially quite a bit more recently.
What is the right thing to do when the world bears down upon a person and seeming millions cry out saying that this person is intolerant, unaccepting, unkind, and even cruel and evil, simply for persisting in what he or she holds sacred and true?
Where is the line drawn between love and tolerance and acceptance and conformity?
Is the fight to change what is wrong in the world right when it supposedly encroaches upon the rights of others?
It would seem that the word “tolerance” defined by 21st-century Earth is “acceptance of and conformity to what the masses define as correct”, or, at the very least, “living according to how an individual prefers to live and never causing others to question their own beliefs and morals (except when their beliefs have to do with morals defined by a supposed God)”. We have many activist groups supported by the media who demand tolerance or demand that what they believe is correct and how dare anyone question it. A person who believes in ultimate morals that are the same for everybody is targeted as a traitor to humanity.
All of this pressure from the outside world can tempt one to give in. It should not be so.
While tolerance, love, kindness, civility, and understanding are necessary to grease the ever-turning gears of society, changing one’s views on what is right so as to not upset another or even simply backing down and not allowing one’s voice to be heard are both weak things to do. A person can argue that cold-blooded murder is acceptable and moral because it is what he or she believes is the right thing to do: things of this magnitude currently are done in secret, but I tell you that our world is already to this point, and the more we adopt the “anything goes” and relative morality mentalities the closer we will get to murder being acceptable. I sound as if I’m speaking insanity now, but these things never happen overnight; it takes decades and even centuries for society to degrade– it’s nearly imperceptible (and for the masses, it is imperceptible). If the general media and other subterfugist groups were to spring it upon us all at once, most people would cry out in shock and anger and run them out of town on a rail. However, they just creep it up on us a little bit at a time, desensitizing us to what used to be immoral, and suddenly certain types of murder– and I don’t mean capital punishment– are acceptable. It’s like some sadistic fiend turning up the heat one degree every fifteen minutes; no one ever notices, and before you know it, you’re a baked potato chip. You may even fall asleep before you die. This is how society has been degrading.
No, we must hold on to something. We cannot prance about saying that loving people means that nothing they do is wrong or preaching that love equals conformity. We cannot allow an “anything goes” mentality unless we enjoy being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness.” We cannot remain silent. It is my belief that there are actually more people who believe in similar morals we do and that there are more people who believe in absolute truth and certain morality than there seem to be; those that enjoy the darker things in this broken world are, I think, generally the louder group because they have to be loud in order to convince themselves that they’re right and be so defensive against others (even when no offense was even intended) because they know deep within themselves, probably subconsciously, that they lack something in their persistence of their skewed morals. While we must never be hostile, we must at least never give up living our own values and invite others to enjoy the same.
There is a delicate balance, of course. It isn’t right to force one’s beliefs and morals upon another, which many people claim members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints do, and, while there is some truth behind their stigma, it is definitely not the norm; it’s actually funny because many of those people who point this accusatory finger, crying that we cease shoving our beliefs down others’ throats, are doing with their own beliefs just what they hate us for: “tolerate, accept, and conform to me, but I will not so much as leave you alone until you stop disagreeing with me”. I intend to offer my beliefs, however, to a sick world in need of absolute morals, solid ground, and a foundation that it seemingly hates.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ…