Reply to “Fundamentalist intolerance is degrading assembly and association rights worldwide – UN expert”

As I see it the main fundamental problem in the world is the failure by so many people to distinguish optional beliefs from firm reality. Pythagoras theorem is an example of firm reality because it can be shown to be true. Astrology is an example of an optional belief. It cannot be shown to be true. In all walks of life, in every culture, people hold optional beliefs that they do not distinguish from fact. Some make decisions affecting many people, causing unnecessary hardship or strife. Children are indoctrinated throughout their young lives to believe that certain optional beliefs are fact and they grow up to be irrational adults. They misjudge the issues at hand on the basis of optional beliefs instead of firm principles. Some commit or support murder on the basis of their optional beliefs.
All schools in the world should teach epistemology, the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of knowledge. When nearly everybody is adept at distinguishing optional beliefs from firm principles there can be intelligent conversation between people regardless of religion, culture, political or economic philosophy, or loyalties. There can be a talking out of differences in wants and then compromise, and the identification of true rights.

Filed under: Comments on News Stories | June 20th, 2016