Let me begin by saying that people, we must live together! There is no choice! Just like how you are born in a family and you have no choice about whom you are related to, it is the same with living in the world or a specific nation. People of different faiths, beliefs and creeds need to live together! We co-exist and inhabit the same world or planet. Whether you believe that God has put us together or not, the reality is that you cannot just wish to live among people of your own kind or your own belief! That is not your reality!
We are all neighbours. The Christian, the Jew, the Buddist, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Atheist, and the Agnostic and whatever faith or label that you identify yourself with! Yet, we all have to live together, despite our differences in opinion. And despite us having differences in opinion and belief, we must not only live together, but let other human beings also live and participate in society, politics and economic activities. No one should be prevented from participating in society, political or economic activity because off their creed, religious beliefs or any other criteria including sexuality, sexual orientation, gender etc.
Yet the great evils that I have seen all across the world including the West, is that there is great intolerance. In some nations, the intolerance is violent. Where mere mortals decide that only those of their same persuasion or belief must live and exist in their local space. Mere mortals, take the position or role of God to exterminate or eradicate other human beings who are not like them in belief , using force and coercion to establish their "like-minded" community or locality.
IT IS EVIL to force any person, against their consent to do what goes against their conscience! It is like slavery. It is just evil to force people to do what YOU want them to do. It is evil to force people to live as how YOU want them to live. As long as a person's beliefs is not to injure another person, then we have no right to use force or any persuasion of any form, including the law to compel others to do anything against their will.
I don't want to get into specifics, but the daily news is unbearable:
- Boko Haram in Nigeria
- Sri Lanka ultranationalist Buddhists violently attacking Muslims
- Communist governments destroying places of worship
- Secularists telling people of faith that they must keep their religion at home and leave religion out of their decisions at work or in the public sphere or that people who don't believe in abortion must fund those who do
- ISIS in Syria and Iraq and their attacks on Christians
We all have differences in opinion. But one thing that we all have in common: No one wishes to be coerced to do that which they disagree with! That is why slavery was and still is evil. It is inhumane to force another human being to conform to YOUR ideas about how they should live, work, be or exist. No human has the right to elevate themselves and their consciousness over another human being! As we are all human beings who are going to die, we must not seek to elevate ourselves and beliefs over others, because we will all meet the same fate. We are all going to be dust or dirt one day! It does not matter if we are rich, poor, religious, non-religious, straight, gay, vegetarian or omnivore, etc, we will die. We will all die like the animals that we eat or don't eat.
Let everyman come to his own conviction, not through force and coercion, but through experience, dialogue and through the process of questioning his own beliefs and testing the validity of those beliefs. I personally want my freedom to do this and would also want other who do not arrive at the same beliefs or conclusions to also go through this process.
After all, who wants to be locked into a world where he or she has to live as someone else dictates, who is mere mortal but yet claims to have more wisdom about what is right and whose authority cannot be questioned or challenged. Yet, even in so-called democratic societies, I see this depressing situation.