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Research Papers on Tolerance

Sociological problems and philosophical dilemmas are often assigned to students as research papers. The writers at omesp can assist you in formulating a thesis on the importance of tolerance. For example, you can write a research paper on tolerance by looking at the philosophy of Aristotle and how it applies to society.

The issue of whether or not tolerance – or at least tolerance as it is commonly understood in liberal democracies – is possible in a deeply religious society has vexed intellectuals and political philosophers for millennia. At first glance, it would certainly seem as though twenty-first century western societies have repudiated any argument or arguments suggesting religion and tolerance can co-exist peacefully in a society. For instance, the standard-bearer for all democracies, America, explicitly separates the Church and State in its Constitution. Other western nations do likewise and the general uniformity of sentiment does raise the question of whether or not this belief has always been a key staple of western thought or is instead the product of a more recent age. With this question in mind, it is worthwhile to look to ancient Greece, specifically Aristotle, to see to what extent the ancients accepted the contemporary premise that tolerance and staunch religious faith are incompatible. Thus, a research paper on tolerance may examine Aristotle’s views on the matter but our writers suggest you do so with a unique twist: rather than assuming the dispassionate narrative of the third-person, the pages should be written, so far as possible, in Aristotle’s “voice”. In this way it is hoped that the reader can gain a further appreciation for the thought processes animating one of the most brilliant minds in all western history.

Here is an example on how to write a research paper on tolerance in the voice of Aristotle:

ToleranceUncommon devotion to religion is a feature of tyrants. Such a ruler will make a great, ostentatious show of religion so that the common rabble is aware of how “pious” he or she is. Likewise, there will be no ambiguity vis-à-vis the devotion of the ruler to the contemporary religious system; he or she will be, on the surface at any rate, wholeheartedly committed to it. Additionally, if no such state religion exists, then the despot will devote him or herself to the devout public observance of the religion that is most popular in the society. Immediately, we can say many unsettling things about this state of affairs.

Any society whereby the state enthusiastically endorses one religion or one set of religious ideals over and above all others, is a society that runs the risk of becoming an intolerant theocracy in which religious dissent is sharply rebuked. More that that, we hold that such a society is most likely to ostracize and/or persecute all individuals portrayed as inferior or as undesirable in the eyes of the state religion. A state constituted in such a manner is one unlikely to escape the blight of intolerance and injustice. Consequently, religion serves base political ends to the detriment of the community at large.

There are other, related, issues that come to light when assessing how the conflation of deep religious practice (or at least the appurtenance of such) with the functioning of the state can lead to intolerance. To begin, we hold that “uncommon devotion” to religion allows for despots and tyrants to control a society to an extent not possible otherwise. This is so because religion is an efficacious means of social regulation and this regulation is obviously vital insofar as no tyrant can assuredly count upon the freely-chosen support of his or her subjects; he must have additional tools at his disposal to affect his will. We can further asseverate that religion holds in abeyance those with the power to destroy the power of the tyrant. It is well understood that the tyrant depends most heavily upon the strength of his or her armed forces to enforce their rule; it should also be equally evident that they are susceptible to this armed force turning against them. Thus, not only can religious faith be used as an impetus to compel the armed forces to quash uprisings against the tyrant (who has, after all, closely aligned himself with the state religion and the moral valence it affords) but it can also be used to discourage the ambitious among the armed forces from raising swords against their ruler. In other words, the conflation of religion with the state can conceivably provide the tyrant with a touch of divinity and this divinity can be used to employ the force of arms against the perceived enemies of the ruler – and to also bequeath incontestable and unchallengeable power to the despot.

Therefore, regarding tolerance it may be concluded:

  1. Religion can act both as a means of engendering intolerance and as a means of fostering prudence, the most intellectual and rarified of the human virtues.
  2. There are both the negative aspects of a society controlled by religious sentiment and potential good that can emerge from a society in which religion suffuses all human interactions.
  3. There should be an appreciation of the intimate connection that religion has with politics, the most architectonic of all human endeavors.

That being said, how is religion to be properly reconciled with the state? If, as noted in the first section of this paper, despots and tyrants (or simply by powerful individuals) can and will use religion as a means of consolidating their own hold upon power while attenuating the strength of their rivals, how can religion flourish in a polity without escalating tensions among groups? We suggest that the key

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