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Khalid Baig writes in his essay on religious tolerance:

Nicolas of Cusa’s De Pace Fidei (1453) marks animportant step towards a more comprehensive, Christian-humanistconception of toleration, though in the conversations amongrepresentatives of different faiths his core idea of “onereligion in various rites” remains a Catholic one. Still, thesearch for common elements is a central, increasingly important topicin toleration discourses. This is much further developed in Erasmus ofRotterdam’s humanist idea of a possible religious unity based ona reduced core faith, trying to avoid religious strife about whatErasmus saw as non-essential questions of faith(adiaphora).

Within the Christian framework, a number of arguments for tolerationhave been developed, based on charity and love for those who err, forexample, or on the idea of the two kingdoms and of limited humanauthority in matters of religious truth, i.e., in matters of thedivine kingdom. The most important and far-reaching justification oftoleration, however, is the principle credere non potest nisivolens, which holds that only faith based on inner conviction ispleasing to God, and that such faith has to develop from within,without external compulsion. Conscience therefore must not be andcannot be forced to adopt a certain faith, even if it were the trueone. Yet, Augustine who defends these arguments in his earlierwritings, later (when confronted with the danger of a schism betweenRoman Catholics and the so-called Donatists) came to the conclusionthat the same reasons of love, of the two kingdoms and of the freedomof conscience could also make intolerance and the use of force into aChristian duty, if it were the only way to save the soul of another(esp. Augustine 408, letter # 93). He cites numerous examples ofreconverted Catholics to substantiate his position that the proper useof force combined with the right teaching can shake men loose from thewrong faith and open up their eyes so as to accept thetruth—still “from within.” Accordingly, individualconscience can and sometimes must be subjected to force. Christianarguments thus both form the core of many modern justifications oftoleration and yet are janus-faced, always bound by the superior aimto serve the true faith. Similar to Augustine, Thomas Aquinas laterdeveloped a number of reasons for limited and conditional toleration,drawing especially strong limits against tolerating any form ofheresy.

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Importance of tolerance in a society Essay Sample

Jean Bodin’s work is important for the further development ofmodern ideas of toleration in two ways. In his Six Books of aCommonweal (1576), he develops a purely political justificationof toleration, following the thought of the so-calledPolitiques, whose main concern was the stability of thestate. For them, the preservation of political sovereignty tookprimacy over the preservation of religious unity, and toleration wasrecommended as a superior policy in a situation of religious pluralityand strife. This, however, does not amount to the (late modern) ideaof a fully secular state with general religious liberty. More radicalstill is Bodin’s religious-philosophical work on theColloquium of the Seven (1593), a discourse amongrepresentatives of different faiths who disagree about fundamentalreligious and metaphysical issues. For the first time in the traditionof religious discourse, in Bodin’s work there is no dominantposition, no obvious winners or losers. The agreement that theparticipants in the conversation find is based on respect for theothers and on the insight that religious differences, even though theycan be meaningfully discussed, cannot be resolved in a philosophicaldiscourse by means of reason alone. Religious plurality is seen hereas an enduring predicament of finite and historically situated humanbeings, not as a state to be overcome by the victory of the one andonly true faith.

In the course of the religious-political conflicts throughout Europethat followed the Reformation, toleration became one of the centralconcepts of political-philosophical discourse, yet its history reachesmuch further back into antiquity (for the following, see esp. Forst2013, part 1; cf. also Besier and Schreiner 1990, Nederman 2000,Zagorin 2003, Creppel 2003, Kaplan 2007 and Bejan 2017). In stoicwritings, especially in Cicero, tolerantia is used as a termfor a virtue of endurance, of suffering bad luck, pain and injusticeof various kinds in a proper, steadfast manner. But already in earlyChristian discourse, the term is applied to the challenge of copingwith religious difference and conflict. The works of Tertullian andCyprianus are most important in that respect.

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To answer the question which of these conceptions should be theguiding one for a given society, two aspects are most important. Thefirst one requires an assessment of the conflicts that require andallow for toleration, given the history and character of the groupsinvolved; and the second requires an adequate and convincing normativejustification of toleration in a given social context. It is importantto keep in mind that the (normatively dependent) concept of tolerationitself does not provide such a justification; this has to come fromother normative resources. And the list of such resources, speakingboth historically and systematically, is long.

Importance of tolerance - Times of Malta

This question prompted a writing project that brought heartfelt responses from students from across North America and abroad. Their voices - in the form of letters, essays, poems, and art - provide amazing answers and a hope for a more peaceful and tolerant future.

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The philosophers and writers of the enlightenment -- especially Voltaire and Lessing -- promoted religious tolerance, and their influence is strongly felt in Western society.

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Khalid Baig writes in his essay on religious tolerance:

The expressed this well in a 2002 ruling concerning the access to books by students in the in Surrey, British Columbia:

"...the demand for tolerance cannot be interpreted as the demand to approve of another person's beliefs or practices.

Essay on tolerance leads to peace

In important respects, this is a more radical theory than the (muchmore popular and influential) one developed by Locke, whodistinguishes between state and church in an early liberal perspectiveof natural individual rights. While it is the duty of the state tosecure the “civil interests” of its citizens, the“care of the soul” cannot be its business, this being amatter between the individual and God to whom alone one is responsiblein this regard. Hence there is a God-given, inalienable right to thefree exercise of religion. Churches are no more than voluntaryassociations without any right to use force within a legitimatepolitical order based on the consent of the governed. Locke draws thelimits of toleration where a religion does not accept its proper placein civil society (such as Catholicism, in Locke’s eyes) as wellas where atheists deny any higher moral authority and thereforedestroy the basis of social order.

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The idea of a “religion of reason” as an alternative toestablished religions for the sake of overcoming the quarrels betweenthem was typical for the Enlightenment, and is found in thinkers suchas Voltaire, Diderot and Kant. In his parable of the rings (which goesback to medieval precursors) in the play Nathan the Wise(1779), G. E. Lessing offers a powerful image for the peacefulcompetition of established religions that both underlines their commonancestry as well as their differences due to multiple historicaltraditions of faith. Since there is no objective proof as to theirtruth for the time being, they are called upon to deliver such proofby acting morally and harmoniously until the end of time.

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