Toleration

Cato

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"Toleration implies a certain disrespect. I tolerate your absurd beliefs and your foolish acts, though I know them to be absurd and foolish. Mill would, I think, have agreed. He believed that to hold an opinion dearly is to throw our feelings into it. He once declared that when we deeply care, we must dislike those who hold the opposite views. He preferred this to cold temperaments and opinions. He asked us not necessarily to respect the views of others - very far from it - only to try to understand and tolerate them; only tolerate; disapprove, think ill of, if need be mock or despise, but tolerate..."

Berlin, Isaiah (2002), Liberty, Oxford University Press, pg. 229

Toleration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia said:
In a general meaning, tolerance is the ability to accept something while disapproving of it.
In social, cultural and religious contexts, toleration and tolerance are terms used to describe attitudes which are "tolerant" (or moderately respectful) of practices or group memberships that may be disapproved of by those in the majority. In practice, "tolerance" indicates support for practices that prohibit ethnic and religious discrimination. Conversely, 'intolerance' may be used to refer to the discriminatory practices sought to be prohibited. Though developed to refer to the religious toleration of minority religious sects following the Protestant Reformation, these terms are increasingly used to refer to a wider range of tolerated practices and groups, or of political parties or ideas widely considered objectionable.[1]
This has come up on a number of different threads and I think that it merit its own discussion. In a democracy what exactly is toleration? What should be tolerated? Does toleration imply that you must keep a respectful silence or does it mean that society should be tolerant of full and frank exchanges of opinion?

So what does the community here think is meant by 'toleration'?
 


TradCat

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I agree. I never liked the word in a political context as it implied you were putting up with something and therefore deserving of credit.

If something is wrong then we shouldn't tolerate it and if it's not wrong then either you like it or you don't but you don't have a moral veto which you have to graciously decline to exercise.
 

Cato

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Interesting question. It would suggest some sort of peaceful acceptance/co-existence and mutual respect, no? Everyone seems to have their own idea of what 'toleration' demands of them. Many people have too much pride and belief in the indisputable rightness of their own position to properly tolerate others.
 

femmefatale

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"Toleration implies a certain disrespect. I tolerate your absurd beliefs and your foolish acts, though I know them to be absurd and foolish. Mill would, I think, have agreed. He believed that to hold an opinion dearly is to throw our feelings into it. He once declared that when we deeply care, we must dislike those who hold the opposite views. He preferred this to cold temperaments and opinions. He asked us not necessarily to respect the views of others - very far from it - only to try to understand and tolerate them; only tolerate; disapprove, think ill of, if need be mock or despise, but tolerate..."

Berlin, Isaiah (2002), Liberty, Oxford University Press, pg. 229
What does he have in mind here? Something short of burning down the home of and publicly flogging people who profess a different view of things? Very tolerant indeed. :?
 

Cato

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What does he have in mind here? Something short of burning down the home of and publicly flogging people who profess a different view of things? Very tolerant indeed. :?
Tone down the hyperbolic straw-man and try again.
 

femmefatale

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Tone down the hyperbolic straw-man and try again.
:) Yes, a 'hyperbolic straw-man' sounds most unwelcome.

I don't wish to cast aspersions on Sir Berlin, but if you can both despise and tolerate something/someone, what does tolerance amount to exactly?
 

Cato

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:) Yes, a 'hyperbolic straw-man' sounds most unwelcome.

I don't wish to cast aspersions on Sir Berlin, but if you can both despise and tolerate something/someone, what does tolerance amount to exactly?
It's 'Sir Isaiah' not 'Sir Berlin', don't you know.

Tolerance amount defending the right of others to express and hold opinions even when those opinions appear to be (or are) false, foolish, and absurd. It does not mean that you have to respect the other person or their opinion nor that you have to refrain from robustly challenging their beliefs or points of view.
 

femmefatale

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It's 'Sir Isaiah' not 'Sir Berlin', don't you know.
I do beg your pardon, my liege. A good 'subject' should know such things. :oops:

Tolerance amount defending the right of others to express and hold opinions even when those opinions appear to be (or are) false, foolish, and absurd. It does not mean that you have to respect the other person or their opinion nor that you have to refrain from robustly challenging their beliefs or points of view.
This is how you interpret it. Personally, I don't think one can be, or necessarily should be, tolerant of that which one despises.
 

nozzferrahhtoo

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Toleration is a meaningless word for me in a sense. For me people should be protected from harm. Ideas should not.

Ideas should be ripped apart, subject to everything from scrutiny to ridicule, put back together, reverse engineering and everything else you can to understand them, whether they are useful or whether they are entirely wrong or devoid of basis.

If people choose to vicariously take offence on behalf of an idea, in some drama queen version of victim mentality, then so be it. That is there choice. We are required neither to A) pander to this nor B) Assume the problem lies anywhere but with them.

What those people should try and realize is that if their ideas can be protected by nothing except foot stamping and calls of "offence" and "intolerance" and "hatred" then maybe there is something wrong with the IDEAS, not the people attacking them.

If an idea is a good one, youll find a lot of useful ways to defend it without amateur dramatics and turning on the tears.

So to take a recent relevant example in my life if I take out one of my collection of consecrated crackers and subject it to scientific scrutiny of poking, prodding, cutting, chemical dissolving, burning, chewing and other investigatory techniques then I am engaging in nothing but the exploration of an idea that there is something different about these crackers than there is about other crackers.

Those that call offence at my actions, claim I am causing some kind of harm, or literally threaten my physically for engaging in this voyage of discovery are the ones with the problem, not me.
 

Libero

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"Toleration implies a certain disrespect. I tolerate your absurd beliefs and your foolish acts, though I know them to be absurd and foolish. Mill would, I think, have agreed. He believed that to hold an opinion dearly is to throw our feelings into it. He once declared that when we deeply care, we must dislike those who hold the opposite views. He preferred this to cold temperaments and opinions. He asked us not necessarily to respect the views of others - very far from it - only to try to understand and tolerate them; only tolerate; disapprove, think ill of, if need be mock or despise, but tolerate..."

Berlin, Isaiah (2002), Liberty, Oxford University Press, pg. 229

Toleration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



This has come up on a number of different threads and I think that it merit its own discussion. In a democracy what exactly is toleration? What should be tolerated? Does toleration imply that you must keep a respectful silence or does it mean that society should be tolerant of full and frank exchanges of opinion?

So what does the community here think is meant by 'toleration'?
Toleration, as used by Berlin and most other mainstream modern political thinkers, means allowing others the right to express and agitate for opinion, even when it is one with which you disagree.

Unfortunately, many others - and especially critics of liberals - choose to interpret 'toleration' as a wider concept, including listerning in respectful silence to a disagreeable opinion, and refusing to criticise it.

This is to confuse 'tolerance' with other, different concepts like 'not having an opinion' or 'respectfully keeping one's opinion to oneself'

This mistake in language leads critics of liberals to think they are listening to hypocrisy when they hear a liberal criticising an illiberal. "You advocate tolerance", says the critic of the liberal, "but don't show tolerance towards this other idea".

The only way the critic would have a point would be if the liberal went further than merely giving voice to his/her disapproval of the idea, and advocated using force or the sanctions of the law to silence others. That is really the sort of intolerance of ideas that Berlin, after Mill, was getting at, and which liberals must avoid.

But count the seconds until some genius here writes "sometimes liberals are the most illiberal/intolerant of all".
 

Kevin Doyle

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If people choose to vicariously take offence on behalf of an idea, in some drama queen version of victim mentality, then so be it. That is there choice.
Their choice you illiterate ***K
 

Kevin Doyle

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Oh, I see what we're dealing with here.

Good to know.

Considering the topic of the thread I think you spectacularly missed the point
 


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