This is not a post about the problems with religious people, and this is not a post about the problems of people who are anti-religious. This is not a post about why it’s stupid to believe in God, and this is not a post about why it’s stupid not to believe in God. Chances are, if you’re reading this post, I am not siding with you, nor am I siding against you. This is strictly my opinion and my ideal world.
The overall idea that in order for your personal belief to be considered legitimate, everyone must believe the same as you, is, for lack of a better word, immature, and honestly makes your belief look weak. If your belief is so easily offended to the point where you cannot function unless everyone believes the same as you, then I have no interest in resting my life and my eternity on that unreliable pedestal.
So when I sit at a lunch table where two people with beliefs that differ from one another, and they cannot hold an intelligent conversation without bringing in condescending tones and aggressive words, I lose respect for that individual, and whether I try to or not, lose all interest in hearing about their belief. I am shut off to your mind because of your mouth, and there is nothing beneficial for either party in that behavior. Not a single thing is accomplished besides splitting two people even further apart, and shutting off anyone in earshot from the belief you’re trying to explain. Anti-productive is probably the best word I could use to describe conversations like this.
The fact that human beings cannot survive peacefully on a planet, each with his own view, without forcing said view on another person in an aggressive and damaging manner, is our issue.
We have become afraid to challenge our own beliefs, yet we have full confidence in shoving another person’s beliefs to the ground before their very eyes without even slight consideration for the fact that maybe WE are the ones in the wrong. Maybe we aren’t 100% sure of what we believe, and maybe we need to learn how to admit that. Maybe we don’t actually KNOW everything we think we know. Maybe we will never actually know the full truth behind what is real and what is fake. And by ‘maybe’, I mean ‘of course’.
There is one exception to my request rule of tolerance towards beliefs that differ from your own. The exception is that one’s belief is not protected under this request if it is unnecessarily harmful or damaging to another person.
By this, I am speaking directly to racist individuals, sexist individuals, and hateful homophobes.
Regarding race, you should not have the ability to discriminate or look down upon another race… at least not publicly. Every KKK group that still exists today should be jailed. An employer should be sued for denying a job to someone based on any factor besides skill level and ability. A muslim man should not be chosen for “random” security checks at airports, because no my dear security men, you are not fooling anyone and we do not believe that he, a man of clear middle-eastern descent, just so happened to be your random choice.
How is it that we have lost our desire for knowledge? How is it that we close our ears to anything that rings in our mind as new? How is it that we have decided there is one truth, that every other belief must be shut down, and that every other believer must be hated? Why have we been raised in a society where different is wrong? Why have we been raised in an ignorance-filled bubble of patriotism, in which we’ve been taught to believe our country is the best? Why is travel not being pushed in every high school and every university across America? Why are we not being taught to expand our minds and push our limits and challenge our fears and question what we’ve been taught? Why are we taught that our country is #1, when statistics prove otherwise in a wide multitude of ways? Why do we look at a brown-skinned man in a turban walking through airport security like everyone else, and immediately question our safety? Why do we fear the african-american boy walking behind us, but not the caucasian?
And the saddest part about it all? It’s been ingrained in our minds without us even knowing. We weren’t born hateful, and we weren’t born fearful. Society has sculpted the absolute shit out of our minds, and it didn’t even ask our permission. It’s so much harder to undo than it is to put it in at all, and even to this day, in 2014, humanity is still struggling with the same bullshit issues that it was hundreds of years ago. Have we made advances? Absolutely. Am I proud of them? Yes. But I cannot be content, because it isn’t finished yet. The plain disregard for others and disrespect of beliefs is still in existence, and while it may be considered naive of me to expect different results in 2014, it doesn’t change the fact that I do.
I expect more from humanity than I think most people do. I do believe it’s possible for acceptance to become as valuable of a quality as intelligence, and in my opinion, those two go hand-in-hand.
I am disappointed with how long it has taken for our society to get to this point. Proud, yet disappointed. I think our generation will change this planet, 150%. Mock me all you want, but the generation everyone keeps referring to as a “fuck-up” will begin the revolution this earth has been waiting for since day one. The racist, homophobic, intolerant, and sexist are now in the minority, and eventually will be entirely shut out and given NO power in making decisions for society.