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Is Tolerance a Virtue?

Myc
Posts: 2
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3/18/2016 5:37:55 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Hey all. I'm new to the forums, and so for my first post I decided to ask a question: Is Tolerance a virtue?

Throughout societies, it seems that we tend to almost automatically call matters of sexism, transphobia, homophobia or racism matters of tolerance. We tell people that they should learn to be more tolerant of others, and that we should teach tolerance to people. But tolerance is a value shaped by a particular perspective: "We have different cultures. What can we do? We can only tolerate each other."

Martin Luther King Jr. did not upon any occasion use the word tolerance. I believe he would have found the idea of teaching white people to tolerate black people quite repellant. The civil rights movement did not ask for tolerance, but rather demanded equality. When he marched upon Washington, he did not say, 'Please tolerate us,' he said, 'We're here to cash a cheque.'

Should minority groups, therefore, simply demand equality rather than merely seek tolerance or acceptance?
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,288
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3/19/2016 12:30:16 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 5:37:55 PM, Myc wrote:
Hey all. I'm new to the forums, and so for my first post I decided to ask a question: Is Tolerance a virtue?

Throughout societies, it seems that we tend to almost automatically call matters of sexism, transphobia, homophobia or racism matters of tolerance. We tell people that they should learn to be more tolerant of others, and that we should teach tolerance to people. But tolerance is a value shaped by a particular perspective: "We have different cultures. What can we do? We can only tolerate each other."

Martin Luther King Jr. did not upon any occasion use the word tolerance. I believe he would have found the idea of teaching white people to tolerate black people quite repellant. The civil rights movement did not ask for tolerance, but rather demanded equality. When he marched upon Washington, he did not say, 'Please tolerate us,' he said, 'We're here to cash a cheque.'

Should minority groups, therefore, simply demand equality rather than merely seek tolerance or acceptance?

I think that King demanded political equality and hoped for acceptance. You can't really 'demand' personal acceptance without being counterproductive, you have to earn it. And tolerance is, basically, someone giving you the chance to earn it. If someone is intolerant of gay people, it's a pretty big non<x>starter. But if they are tolerant, I can usually win most people over to at least some level of acceptance.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -