Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is "Tolerance" Condescending?

Tolerance is by definition accepting something you don't like or disagree with.  If you don't care, it's not tolerance, it's indifference or apathy.

Penn Gillette points out that tolerance is condescending.  Dutch Boy has been telling me this for years:  the "tolerance" of the Netherlanders toward Islam (for example) is really just accepting of primitive superstition, not a genuine mutual respect.

(UPDATE: Fixed link)

Nod to Angry Alex, who never tolerates anybody.  At least not quietly.


Michael said...
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Michael said...

I have to disagree, and as a warning I'm linking my own blog at the end about this topic.

Tolerance and acceptance are different things, and they often spell the difference between libertarian and progressive false consensuses.

Take marijuana legalization. Progressives will only legalize something they accept, so their arguments demand proof that marijuana is not harmful.

Libertarians only require tolerance, not full acceptance, so our arguments don't depend on deciding if its harmful or not.

In short, libertarianism is all about tolerance for the way other people live their lives. We have a much lower bar than progressives for our willingness to allow people to live their own lives.