Let’s start with today’s key point: Tolerance is not always a virtue. In fact, tolerating what should be intolerable is a vice. But, then again, neither patience nor compassion are always virtues, but today we will talk about tolerance.
Let’s make an important discussion: Intolerance born of ignorance as opposed to intolerance born of discriminating thought. The former, intolerance born of ignorance, is simply inexcusable; intolerance born of discriminating thought is absolutely necessary.
And intolerance born of ignorance needs to be further separated into two parts: The old, represented by classic racism and historically built-in biases and the newer, more recently created dislikes and hatreds. The older, historical intolerances born of ignorance are almost too many to count; they can be based on race, gender, geography, politics, and well, just about anything that we could use to segment others into easy to identify–and detest–groups. These mindless prejudices led to the persecution of Jews, blacks, gypsies, homosexuals, Catholics, Protestants, and the mentally deficient, among many others, for millenia.
The newer, more recently created, intolerances born of ignorance are also almost too many to count; they too can be based on race, gender, geography, politics, and well, just about anything that we can use to segment others into easy to identify–and detest–groups. BTW, did you notice that I just did a cut-and-paste? The “old’ and ‘new” prejudices have almost everything in common. The older prejudices, which most of us dismiss because their vile natures, evil origins and widespread devastation have been revealed and utterly rejected by any sane person.
Rejected, yes, but only to be replaced by newer prejudices also based on group identities. Exactly the same type of thinking that led to, among other horrors, the Inquisition, slavery and the Holocaust is now being used to create the evil of identity politics and intersectionality. Intersectionality, a newly created political concept rallying disparate interest groups together on an ad hoc basis, relies on a dangerous old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The new prejudices, formulated and preached in the name of social justice and political correctness, will, if unchecked, cause the same type of widespread horror that the older prejudices did. We have simply swapped hate targets in the name of progress.
Well, now let’s turn our attention to the kind of discrimination, intolerance if you will, that we all need to learn and embrace. BTW, the word “discrimination” here does not mean anything like racial or gender bias; it means critical thinking. Discernment. The ability to tease concepts apart for yourself and come up with your own conclusions. Tolerance must end where harm begins. Shutting down free speech is harmful; someone saying something you find to be wrong or even reprehensible, is not. Denying women basic human rights in the name of religion is harmful; denying a transgendered woman access to a woman’s restroom is not. Inconvenient, but not harmful. Indoctrinating our youth while providing a deteriorating quality of education is harmful; teaching the classics, albeit written by white males, is not. Giving capable people handouts over time is harmful; insisting on personal responsibility and a strong work ethic is not harmful.
Tolerance must end where harm begins.
Here’s today’s key question: Why do we tolerate the harmful things going on in our society? Do we simply not care? I truly, truly doubt that. Do we tolerate the intolerable in the name of tolerance? That is far more likely. We have been duped into being afraid of speaking the truth. Now, let’s decide what we will tolerate, and what we simply cannot tolerate. Remember, tolerance is not always as virtue. And tolerating what should be seen as intolerable is a vice.
Where do you draw the line? What is going on that is intolerable to you? What do you feel should be addressed in Results With Reason’s Revolution 2.0™?
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It is time for our usual parting thought. For us at Results With Reason, it is not only change your thinking, change your life. It is change your thinking, change your actions, change the world. And if you can do it in love and enjoy the people around you at the same time, all the better. Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.
Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.