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The arrogance of toleration

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 08:15 am
JPB wrote:
Well said, foxfyre (and welcome back).


Thanks JPB, and its good to be back.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 08:55 am
Eorl wrote:
I'm always saying that we only tolerate views that are compatible with our own.

For example, those that profess tolerance seem to be highly intolerant of intolerance in others. (I know I am.)


Bear with me here, because i will get to the point about intolerance.

It is all too common that people erect as moral idols standards of behavior and thought which they are themselves unable to attain. Sometimes this is because they have unrealistic goals of moral attainment, and sometimes it is because they are not self-reflective, and their "morality" represents a critical examination of others, and of others only.

For that reason, i'm chary of the use of the term morality. For whatever the strict definition of morality is, the overwhelming usage of morality is that it represents an absolute standard, an absolute truth, to which we must strive--and, as often as not, or even more often than not, it is referred to someone's imaginary friend superstition.

I don't consider superstition to be a plausible system upon which a community should base it's decisions about what it will "tolerate" in the way of behavior. Therefore, i prefer a reference to ethics. The ethos of a community is that body of values by which the community defines, and if necessary, punishes, that which the community considers to be wrong; to a more limited extent, it also represents what the community defines as, and sometimes rewards as, being right. As human experience demonstrates the value of community over unrestrained individuality, i subscribe to the idea of a social contract, in which a community defines its ethos, and enforces adherence to the ethos.

To arrogate is to assume rights or privileges to which those who are described as arrogant have no title. For me to condemn behavior in others which is legal within the community is arrogant, because i have no right to condemn that which the community will allow. Therefore, i cannot consider tolerance to be arrogant, because the community acknowledges the right of members of the community to act in certain ways, and acknowledges no right of any member of the community to deny that right.

It so happens that the community of which i am a member has erected a standard of tolerance of the expression of ideas which may be repugnant to members of the community. The standard begins and ends with criminal activity. You may rant in the public forum in a manner which others would consider conducive to racism, but so long as you do not advocate or incite criminality, the community of which i am a part has a standard of tolerance which allows you to so behave. I am only arrogant in response to you if i condemn your behavior (condemning the idea is not the same as condemning the behavior), and only become "illegally" and arrogantly intolerant if i attempt to curtail your right to behave in a manner which the community condones.

To dismiss the claim about absolute moral standards, i would point out that we have no evidence for anyone's imaginary friend, and that this is not a plausible basis for a community ethos. Furthermore, we have no basis upon which to claim an irrefutable and demonstrable knowledge of absolute truth, and therefore have no plausible basis to condemn that which the community will condone. All "morality" is subjective. The difference between me and the religious fanatics is that i am willing to acknowledge that my "values" are subjective, but that i prefer them, whereas the religious fanatic will claim that the "morality" to which he or she subscribes is carved in stone by the action of the divine finger.

To such a position, the religious loonies will often respond that i am a moral relativist. This is false on two bases. The first is that moral relativism means to accept values in another community (another in the sense of a community elsewhere, or "elsewhen"), despite the fact that those values may contradict the values of one's own community. I don't. I consider that the values of my community are sensible--in the main; i would work to change the laws of society within society's framework for such change if i believed them to be founded in error--and therefore, have no reason to accept in another community that which is condemned in my own. The second reason to dismiss charges of moral relativism is that the term is so often erroneously applied by the religiously fanatic to what actually ought to be called "situational ethics." I don't accept a concept of "situational ethics," either. The community of which i am a part condemns murder; i agree with that condemnation, and would not act to change what i consider a salutary value. I see no situation in which murder could be justified. The society of which i am a member has precisely the same attitude. Were you to kill someone in the erroneous belief that your life or the lives of others were in danger, the society might charge you with manslaughter, which is not murder, and is not punished as murder, and which refers to a failure or fault of judgment. If you killed someone in the mistaken belief that your action would prevent their violence without killing them, the society might charge you with involuntary manslaughter, which is not murder, and which refers to a failure or fault of judgment. There are no circumstances in which the society condones or tolerates murder, and those who would object otherwise are simply disagreeing with the community's definition of murder.

So, i reject the concept of morality, i reject the concept of moral relativism, and i reject the concept of situational ethics.

Finally: i do not agree either that tolerance constitutes arrogance, because the community accepts and in specific cases enjoins tolerance; nor am i intolerant of intolerance--i am only opposed to criminal actions which arise from intolerance, and therefore agree with society's decision to punish acts arising from intolerance, but not the mere expression of intolerance.
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rafamen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 10:34 am
That depends on the person, but basically when people say they torelate another religion they aren't accepting it they still think their religion is better or else they would convert to that religion. Others just dont torelate them at all.
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onthestreet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2008 08:22 am
Alot of excellent points, peeple, and so right: To merely tolerate someone is to say "I hate you, and disrespect you, and I am your enemy". "These six things doth the Lord HATE" (Prov.6:16). To wallow in another's filth is never called for. One never has to tolerate that one bit. God and His Prophet love us all from a distance, hopefully a distance that is much longer than a ten-foot pole. This is why they send us away, in God's case a distance of 93 million miles away, so like the Prophet Warren says: That we may repent from afar.

The scripture says to "shun the very appearance of evil", not tolerate it, or even welcome it into your church like a pack of devils. Christ cast out devils, not invite them in. He died for sinners who repent, not retain their corruption. He died for ALL, if we will accept him by our full repentance of every sexual and moral and economic and political and social sin, and never accept them as normal or desirable. He preached to sinners that they might repent of sin, not retain it.

Street
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2008 10:28 am
rafamen wrote:
That depends on the person, but basically when people say they torelate another religion they aren't accepting it they still think their religion is better or else they would convert to that religion. Others just dont torelate them at all.


But I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Yes, people embracea particular religion because it seems, feels, or has proved itself to be right for them. To accept that others don't thnk, feel, believe, or practice religion in the same way we do, and not interfere with that, is what tolerance is.
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onthestreet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 12:24 am
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
where religion is concerned.... there is acceptance, tolerance lot's of terms I would describe my feelings as doesn't give a ****... is that exactly tolerant or is it arrogant, or is it accepting.

I really could give a **** less who worships what deity as long as no one f**ks with me or mine.

The percentage of people of any religion or belief who strictly conduct their lives by their principles is so tiny as to be non existent anyway so what difference does it make?
(That was his post at the end of page one).

____________________________________________________________



REPLY: You know, Bi, that was so lucid that you can hardly be considered bipolar, unless of course you're married to two or more fine women between the frigid regions of the two poles, like the FLDS Church. Then your inner climate is loving and temporate and able to mind your business as well as they do.

"We believe in worshipping God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allowing all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may". -FLDS Article of Faith
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 10:22 am
I think tolerance is in no way synonymous with acceptance. When I profoundly disagree with your words or actions or choices or whatever, I do not accept them. But to allow you freedom to engage in them without interference or retribution is tolerance.

Tolerance means that teetotalers who disapprove of all forms of alcohol do not try to shut down the bars and liquor stores. Tolerance means that the fundamentalist church on the corner doesn't try to run 'the heretical Roman Catholics' out of town. Tolerance means that I can dislike being around cigarette smoking without denying you the right to smoke anywhere. Tolerance means that I can disbelieve in any form of deity or religious doctrine but I don't need to protest a Christmas concert featuring Handel's "Messiah" at the highschool or demand the creche on the courthouse lawn be removed. Tolerance means that I don't have to like what you say, but I won't try to stop you from publishing any idiotic doctrine in the newspaper or in a book.

Neither tolerance nor acceptance should be a goal when anybody's civil, legal, or constitutional rights are being violated or anybody's honorable reputation, means of livelihood, relationships, or peace are being maliciously attacked or somebody is a danger to himself or others.

Unfortunately I think too many now are not able to tell the difference between tolerance and acceptance anymore. Also too many are unwilling to accept tolerance as a compromise and push to demand acceptance. And too many are unwilling to be tolerant of much of anything if they don't accept it themselves.

But then maybe it has always been that way.
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onthestreet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 01:38 pm
Actually, I think if the intolerant are intolerant of the tolerant, then the intolerant that were intolerant would eventually become tolerant of the tolerant, in which case the intolerance of the former intolerance would extend to the tolerance of the latter intolerance, and the tolerance of the later would likewise revert back to the intolerance of the former intolerance, don't you see.

Just an overly simplified but tolerant observation, and my humble but intolerant opinion regarding the tolerance of intolerance, and the intolerance of tolerance, until tolerance becomes intolerance and intolerance become tolerance, and the tolerant become so intolerant of the tolerant, and the intolerant of the tolerant, that the whole lot of you lose your marbles over the whole affair.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 02:10 pm
That's intolerable. Get him orf.
0 Replies
 
 

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