Who Is Peter Abelard's Argument For Tolerance

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Peter Abelard was French philosopher and theologian who lived from 1079-1142. Abelard is known for advocating the use of logic and reason regarding religion and his ideas where very modern for his time. During his time those in charge wanted uniformity and questioning religious doctrine was dangerous as those who did could be accused of heresy. Regardless of this Abelard used philosophy and theology to question, his argument separated the sin, the action and the intent, his belief was that a sin has not been committed if the person who has committed the sin believes they are innocent, only God can know their intention. This was a strong argument for tolerance because only God can judge the sinner and therefore the state should leave the…show more content…
“Who does not see how rash it is for one person to make a judgment concerning the sense and intelligence of another when our hearts and thoughts are revealed to God alone.” Another argument Abelard makes is that if some believes something to be true than they should not be judged for lying, because lying is telling someone something with the intention of deceiving, whereas if you are unaware that what you are saying is untrue you cannot really be blamed, Abelard stated that “one does not deceive but is oneself deceived.” He says that God will know the intention of the person and therefore will know whether they intended to sin, “God, who is the judge of hearts and passions, weighs according to the intent of the speaker rather than according to the quality of the speech”. However Abelard argues that we can lie out of error rather than with intention, he backs up his arguments with quotes from the bible, saying even Peter was mistaken and he cannot be accused of lying. Abelard’s argument for tolerance was based on scripture. Abelard asks the reader not to be quick to judge, Abelard quotes from the bible saying that, "the apostle James says (James 1:19), ‘Let every man be swift to hear but slow to

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