Quark has a point.
It’s so easy to believe “we” – whoever we are – understand the way life should be lived, that if everyone else would simply believe as we do, the world would be perfect. This is an especially common problem among us liberals. We think that since we believe in things like racial and gender equality, not shooting each other, and being tolerant of differences we have the corner on being Good People. We think people who disagree with us are Wrong.
And okay, sure, we all have to believe in what we believe in or we’d basically be sociopaths. But there’s a difference between acting on our own beliefs and going around thinking everybody who doesn’t see the world the same way we do is somehow less than us.
If I believe intolerance is a Bad Thing, then I have to be tolerant of intolerance. If I believe in responding to anger with compassion, that has to go for every situation — when it’s easy, and when it’s not. If I believe in celebrating diversity, then I also have to celebrate people who don’t share my values. If I believe in acceptance, then I have to stop judging those with whom I disagree.
That doesn’t have to change my beliefs, and it doesn’t mean people should get to do whatever they want or say whatever they want. When we live in society, we tacitly agree to abide by certain rules, which are intended to provide stability and safety. Those rules evolve over time, and they need to be discussed, assessed, and sometimes changed.
But none of us is the Arbiter of All Things, and it’s not up to us to decide how the universe should be, or what others should believe.
For all we know, the Ferengi could turn out to be right, and won’t we feel silly when we arrive at the Blessed Exchequer without any latinum?