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The Vulcan Thought They Left Out of Star Trek

Posted 05-28-2017 at 05:22 AM by Ludlum'sDaughter14
Saying a person can be devoted to multiple religions at the same time is highly illogical. That's like saying you can be both a staunch Republican and a staunch Democrat at the same time. You can be a moderate and still hold to pieces of both ideologies, but if you hold strongly to the beliefs of one party, you are by definition diametrically opposed to the beliefs of the other. You can't simultaneously vote for two political candidates in opposite parties running for the same office.

Now, you can strongly hold to one belief and still not obstruct the practice of its opposite belief - that's what "freedom of religion" is. However, you can't believe that two things which are mutually exclusive are both true.

As soon as I say this, I brace for all the arguments and conditions that could be raised; but consider the words "mutually exclusive." You can't believe both that God exists and that He doesn't - you can only be agnostic. You can't say you believe in both Mormon paradise and Muslim paradise - you can only believe in a combination of the two. You can't do what George Lucas did and create a new belief system based on elements of all the major belief systems in the world and not leave out the fundamental elements of each.

Or maybe this is wrong. Religion is an area that, by definition, defies logic. Maybe you can fully practice multiple religions at the same time. Here's a theory: if two religions are composed of tenets which do not contradict each other, then they can be practiced simultaneously. This would be especially true of works-based religions, because all you have to do is follow a checklist of items in order to attain the ultimate whatever-you're-looking-for. It would also be true of subjective religions because you are ultimately the one who evaluates your spiritual state, so you alone can say whether you are truly devoted to your beliefs in thought and practice. People practice Buddhism and Hinduism at the same time.

So is there a right way? Is there a wrong way? How can you have a right way without having a wrong way? All roads do not lead to Rome, and those who claim there is no ultimate truth are fully invested in that "ultimate truth." Tolerance and coexistence have become the battle cry of those who cannot stand to have any other group say their way is the right way, because they understand, subconsciously if not voluntarily, that this implies any other way is the wrong way. Everyone understands that you can't say "Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life" in one breath and "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet" in the next.

Can people of opposing beliefs exist peacefully alongside each other? They should be able to, in theory. Do they? Nowadays, less and less. Freedom of religion was instituted by people who understood that you cannot force a belief onto a person's inner being, but many of their ancestors had immigrated here to escape their nations' attempts to do so, and some of them and their descendants became caught up in the same pursuit. Is freedom of religion an impossible ideal? Most people think if everyone believed what they believe, there would be peace and harmony throughout the country and the world... but you have to get them all to ditch their current beliefs for yours first.
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