Evinnra,Evinnra wrote:Would you please explain more about your meaning when you write: 'but what they feel also carry equal weight'? Do you mean that all beliefs held by all sorts of people carry equal weight? Can I weigh a toddler's opinion on topics the same way as I would weigh my Mothers' opinion? That surely can't be what you have meant above. You were talking about weighing in 'emotions' not opinions, rigtht?
What I believe is sacrosanct for me: the same for you and everybody else. What we have in the modern world is tolerance of others' opinions, however abhorrent they are to us, for the sake of coexistence. Otherwise, how would a country like Saudi Arabia who insults religions other than Islam - officially! - be an ally of "advanced" democracies? (For my one year tenure in Saudi Arabia, I was registered as an "infidel" with the Government!)
But for a time, I am entering into the head of the suicide bomber. He passionately believes that people holding opinions different from him are "infidels", not even worthy to be considered human beings. Killing such human trash is, in his belief system, a virtuous deed. Remember, he goes to his death willingly for his beliefs: this is courage of the highest order.
Of course, I do not subscribe to his belief system: I consider it barbarous, as I imagine would most people. But for him, it is the only truth.
We can say that there is a common yardstick by which belief systems can be measured, and there are "acceptable" and "unacceptable" ones. This will work fine, as long as only extremist doctrines are rejected - but the ground becomes shaky when more general beliefs are compared.
Life has taught me that my beliefs are sacred only to me. I have to accept the fact that another's belief - however abhorrent to me - is sacred to him/her. However, that does no mean that I have to accept the belief system itself.