if the majority of believers today view their religion in a certain
light we cannot ignore that in favor of a mystical view of the
religion that most of its believers would regard as heresy. The fact
that certain religions feel compelled to convert the world to their
beliefs shows something very different about the basis of their
religions than that of religions which honor pluralism and have no
need to make everyone think and act as they do.
To pretend that all religions are
originally good is as much a mistake as to regard different cultural
concepts of truth, justice or beauty as all correct. True religious
inquiry does not require pretending all religions are good but
discarding religious teachings that are harmful and upholding those
based upon higher impulses. Naturally existent erroneous beliefs
will not give up without a struggle, and as their power is mainly in
the political world, the struggle will be political as well
As false beliefs tend to militance in
order to protect what are indefensible ideas, they will certainly
resort to force to preserve themselves. We should have no illusions
about the complications that this may create in the external world.
At the same time we should have no illusions that the continued
existence of false beliefs will not lead their followers to harmful
behavior on various levels. False beliefs will lead to wrong actions
until they are removed.