St. Augustine 's Views On Religion Essay

1396 Words Dec 14th, 2015 6 Pages
St. Augustine argued in the fifth century that religious persecution was not only moral, but also a Christian duty. Over time, people somewhat learned to articulate misgivings about St. Augustine’s claim. Michel de Montaigne responded by noting no absolute evidence for one religion or another exists and that people cannot torture others without presenting evidence of a misdeed. If one could not prove his or her own religion, one could not hold following another religion as criminal. In a similar vein, Friedrich Schleiermacher wrote that religion consists of one’s relationship with the universe, and therefore cannot be right or wrong. Schleiermacher’s conclusion answers St. Augustine’s claim by undermining his motivation for persecution. If religion is neither right nor wrong, a person cannot face condemnation for practicing a non-Catholic religion. Though both writings refute religious intolerance, neither supports religious tolerance. Religious tolerance is the acceptance of other people’s religion, despite not sharing it; tolerance requires one to view one’s own religion as true, which neither Montaigne nor Schleiermacher’s argument allows for. Unlike either Montaigne or Schleiermacher, the Dalai Lama argues in favor of religious tolerance. He accomplishes this through religious relativism, the philosophy that multiple religions may be true at the same time. The implication of religious relativism is that no one religion is more valid than another. Unlike…

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