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-American Foreign Policy, World Views, and Religious Belief

by Dr. D ~ March 6th, 2010

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American diplomats typically discount religious belief and come across as rather condescending. So many are so steeped in their own secular world views that it is hard for them to conceive that others take their religion so seriously. America ends up coming across to many countries as an arrogant bully refusing to take into account the belief systems and world views of others. Ignoring them rather than engaging in an exchange of ideas.

For instance, when religious leaders of a country like Iran say that they are waiting for the 12th Imam to return and that they want to usher in a new Islamic caliphate in preparation and utterly destroy Israel in the process. American diplomats and political leaders find it hard to accept that anyone would actually believe that stuff and would rather think that it is all some kind of elaborate hoax used to control their own population or at best a negotiating ploy. There is a total disconnect and what is clearly being said is not taken at face value but ends up being discounted or marginalized (like I just did).

Here’s an excellent article on this problem by John Mark Reynolds, Professor of Philosophy at Biola University: “Let’s argue the truth of our ideas

Here’s a couple of good teaser quotes from the article:

“American foreign policy treats religion as if it were a matter of opinion, the equivalent of rooting for the Packers or Manchester United. That is not how religious believers think of religion.

Of course, arguing against a bad religious idea requires knowing something about it, and American schools are shy about mentioning any religious ideas. We assume religion is a matter of mere "belief" and are casually taught that "faith" believes despite the evidence.”     …

“We irritate with our condescension as we suggest that the other cultures keep their beliefs to themselves and simply adopt secular ones.”     …

“An effective negotiator will begin by learning what his opposite believes, why he believes it, and consider whether his foe might be right. Having decided he is wrong, he must attempt to persuade and negotiate so that two groups that disagree may still live in peace.”

-Hat Tip: Apologetics Central               *Top

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