The terms “belief system” and “ideology” are not synonymous with the term “religion” although many people hold non-religious belief systems and worldviews as strongly as the most fanatical religious zealots. In this section, we are talking about all belief systems, including those that are called religions. But we stress that this discussion is not limited to religions.
One currently-popular worldview is that all belief systems deserve equal respect and are equally true. The illegitimate child of this belief system is the fallacy that there is no absolute truth. Both of these views are, to our way of thinking, completely ridiculous. In response to these positions, we would point out that anybody who works from these belief systems is attempting to force their belief systems on others, even though they may vehemently claim not to have a religion or belief system of their own. In fact, someone who has a belief-system must, by definition, believe that all contradictory belief systems are in error. Otherwise it is merely your preferred theory rather than your belief. For example, if I believe 2 plus 2 equals 4, how could I accept a position that 2 plus 2 equals 5? I can dispute it or ignore it but I simply cannot accept it. The principle is the same for religion, politics and many other issues. If one claims to hold a religious belief about the nature and will of God, he/she cannot admit to the possibility that a contradictory religion can be true.
However, strong belief in one ideology does not require intolerance of people holding opposing beliefs. Modern foolishness would accuse a believer in absolute truth of being intolerant of other points of view. And, certainly, some people who hold to absolutes are intolerant. Many others are not. Dictionary.com defines tolerance as, “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one's own”. Obviously, then, tolerance is not incompatible with firmly-held belief. In fact, based on that definition, the only way that one can show tolerance is to hold a differing opinion or belief. Unfortunately, foolish, self-appointed political correctness police would demand that we avoid stating our own beliefs so that others that hold different beliefs will not be “offended”. That is going too far for us.
If you choose to take offence because I state my belief, then you have a problem, not me!
Additionally, some ideologies are not worthy of respect. Should we respect ideologies that claim the earth is flat or that the sky is normally brown? Of course not, because both of these belief systems are verifiably incorrect. Religious belief systems about the nature and will of the Creator are not verifiable to someone who chooses to believe differently. But the fact is that there are only two possibilities around this issue. Either one belief system about these things must be correct and all others wrong or, alternatively, all are in error. Differing belief systems about the nature and will of the Creator cannot all be true. Do they all deserve equal respect? No! Because some are simply ridiculous; like thinking the earth is flat.
On the other hand, all people deserve to be treated with respect and tolerance – but only until their words or actions precipitate or advocate harm or violence to others – which is something that Islamic scripture does.
- Tolerance of Other Ideologies