“Is it some core aspect of human nature that we really only want to tolerate people who agree with us?” (Comment #101)
My response was:
Unfortunately, yes, Mike. If it were not so, the Sermon on the Mount wouldn’t be much of a challenge. It is so easy to perceive disagreement as attack, and it is so hard not to attack when an attack is perceived.
I agree with the idea that we really want to believe in agency, but that we also are scared to death of the ramifications of agency. That’s why we need a vibrant Savior who promises to make up the difference between who we are and who we want to be – but also kicks us in the butt and demands obedience to commands.
Mormonism (at least what I view as pure Mormonism) embraces paradox and the need for opposition in ALL things more than any other -ism I know – and I’ve gained peace personally about a lot of things only by embracing that need and trying very hard not to condemn or belittle those who provide it for me. I fail miserably at that sometimes, but I’m trying to honor the way others choose to exercise their freedom / agency even when I disagree with them – and even when my disagreement with them might affect their ability to practice what they believe or restrict others from practicing what those others believe.
Sometimes we forget that we can disagree strongly with someone else and still love them – mostly because we often feel unloved and rejected when someone else disagrees with us. Yes, it is natural to tolerate only those on our side – and even to create sides when none need exist in order to feed that natural tendency.