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PHILLIP M. ROBERTS

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 12/15/2015 |




SONGSOPTOK: To what extent do you practice ‘religious tolerance’? Since when (how long ago)?

PHILLIP: The shortest response is, I practice as best as humanly possible, universal tolerance for humanity collectively regardless of ethnicity or their preferred belief system. and have been doing this since I was about seven or eight years old though hardly able to articulate this concept other than I pretty much smiled at anyone young or old. 


SONGSOPTOK: Do you believe all religions are the same?

PHILLIP:  Not sure I can verifiably answer that question but will suggest, that I think the reasons for mankind's search for the divine is essentially the same when you boil down inspiration to its simplest impetus. 


SONGSOPTOK:  In case you practice religion, do you consider all your religious beliefs to be true? What about those of others?

PHILLIP:  I am personally not religious rather a true believer in a pure entity that remains unnameable.  The veracity isn't important to me and would be meaningless to me if it were or were not true because I trust in what I am able to imagine which is neither true or false but something a priori. 


SONGSOPTOK:  Do you believe that all faiths are equally beneficial and equally harmless to society?

PHILLIP:  It's never the belief system that causes any kind of quantifiable harm, only people and their zealous misinterpretations account for hits occurrences. 


SONGSOPTOK:  Do you believe all religious groups are equally beneficial and equally harmless to their followers?

PHILLIP:  My answers would have to be as varied as a random sample of people.  Whether I selected 100 or 10,000 or more random individuals, I'd find good and bad in all of them with the tacit possibility that anyone of them could do something devastating.  Humans are by far the most dangerous animal on this planet regardless of their sentient proclivities.


SONGSOPTOK:  Should members of any given religious group refrain from criticizing religious practices of others?

PHILLIP:  In general, I'd prefer most people embrace pensive silence.  Moreover, most people seem to know little about critique (which can be inestimably valuable) but mostly hurl insults without any insight or genuine reflection with regard to what they're saying. 


SONGSOPTOK:  Do you usually refrain from talking about your beliefs to others? Should you be ignoring your own religious ideas?

PHILLIP:  I proselytize to no one and will only address questions of the sacred and profane only when someone invites questions on that topic or only when rarely, I find those comments germane and useful as the case maybe.  


SONGSOPTOK: What are the different ways religious tolerance, including secularism, can help (or hurt) the demands of a complex world?

PHILLIP:  I think tolerance of all belief systems, even those who are atheists can only benefit society and bear in mind, as soon as people embrace violence of any kind, they negate the very beliefs they supposedly honor. 


SONGSOPTOK:  Should ‘religious tolerance’ be a part of the school curricula?

PHILLIP:  I think tolerance in general should be imbued in any student body along with respect and reverence for one's fellow human beings. 


SONGSOPTOK:  Religious acceptance and bigotry appear to be the two sides of a coin (unbiased). People are equally likely to choose one over the other. Do you agree with that observation? Please explain.

PHILLIP:  Only insofar as various real world experiences allows them to flip the coin at their whim and surprisingly, the outcome will most likely not be a traditional 50/50 average as most folks i know are full of biases, prejudices and bigoted viewpoints of which I necessarily must not exclude myself as I am alas, human.


We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Subhodev Das

(Chief Advisor: Songsoptok)

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