Best possible world

God created the best possible world.

God gave people free will.

When God gave man free will he put some part of the outworking of the best possible world is in the hands of people.

People have free will  – we DO the desires of our HEARTS and we have the ability to make choices which have consequences.

Do the choices that we make glorify God?  Another way of saying this is do the choices we make follow God’s plan for the best possible world?  Or do the choices we make tear pieces out of the best possible world. Trash it?

I hear a lot about tolerance in 2016.  What is tolerance?   We are told by social scientists, judges, lawyers, teachers, school systems, media and politicians that we need more tolerance.  What is tolerance?

The term “toleration”—from the Latin tolerare: to put up with, countenance or suffer—generally refers to the conditional acceptance of or non-interference with beliefs, actions or practices that one considers to be wrong but still “tolerable,” such that they should not be prohibited or constrained.

Is this the promise of modern society for the best possible world?   Tolerance is a myth.. it does not actually exist.  See the “paradox of tolerance”.  “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.”   The best we can hope for is for people to “at least to behave “as if they possessed this virtue””.

Philosopher Karl Popper defined the paradox in 1945 in The Open Society and Its Enemies Vol. 1.[1]

“Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

He concluded that we are warranted in refusing to tolerate intolerance: “We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

In 1971, philosopher John Rawls concludes in A Theory of Justice that a just society must tolerate the intolerant, for otherwise, the society would then itself be intolerant, and thus unjust. However, Rawls also insists, like Popper, that society has a reasonable right of self-preservation that supersedes the principle of tolerance: “While an intolerant sect does not itself have title to complain of intolerance, its freedom should be restricted only when the tolerant sincerely and with reason believe that their own security and that of the institutions of liberty are in danger.”

In a 1997 work, Michael Walzer asked “Should we tolerate the intolerant?” He notes that most minority religious groups who are the beneficiaries of tolerance are themselves intolerant, at least in some respects. In a tolerant regime, such people may, such people may learn to tolerate, or at least to behave “as if they possessed this virtue”.

It seems to me that tolerance is not the best possible world.   God’s design of peace through 1) love & relationship with God and 2) love & relationship with neighbour is a much better option.

I believe this is true for  husband/wife, kids, family, extended family, church, work, community, country, continent, world, and universe.

 

 

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