Originally Posted by L'Incandescent
I think "tolerance" can function that way for sure. And no doubt about it, there are some assholes who use it as a cudgel to beat others over the head. But there is a genuinely important idea that's worth salvaging, too. Big picture, there is clearly a difference between a culture that is generally tolerant of different ways of life and one that is not. Again, big picture, the tolerant society is a better place to live than the intolerant one, where social pressure molds everyone into a very few forms of life. (This is just John Stuart
Intolerant liberals all worship at the altar of the Daily Show. Snap!
Originally Posted by Piobaire
I think the big picture point is a tolerant society must accept some individuals within it will not be tolerant of all things or believe in all societal mechanisms some deem appropriate to, in the eyes of the power structure, increase tolerance. "Diversity" is a great example of this as well as one the can expose rather inconsistent premises inside the concept.
Help me parse this, Mr. Fancy-Words. "Diversity" is a great example of one of those things that some people (whom a tolerant society should accept) will not be tolerant of? Pretty sure I got that right. The second part I'm struggling with - did you drop a word somewhere? (I am broad-minded enough to tolerate your negligent typing.) But are you saying that diversity exposes inconsistent premises within the concept of tolerance because there's a zero-sum game aspect? Or something else?
Originally Posted by AndrewST
To be clear, I'm not a shitlib.
It's the lib part you're missing?
Originally Posted by munchausen
My point is, for most of the people spouting off about "tolerance", the things they are so proud of tolerating are things that they DO approve of, and therefore tolerance doesn't come into play. I don't think tolerance means having to agree with everyone's opinions, but I would note that the person who posted that blurb was using it as a justification for unfriending all of the Republicans and christians that he knew. In other words, it comes down to "tolerance is something that other people should do for my favored groups/classes."
I agree with all of this. But I think it also makes sense to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathtub gin, or whatever the appropriate trope is. The fact that lots of dumb people completely misuse the term to falsely claim the perceived moral high ground doesn't mean that if understood in the sense most people here seem to be using it, it isn't a valuable and and even necessary concept.
In this respect, it's similar to discussions about racism or sexism. People have seized upon those terms to and their perceived normative value in order to cynically (or just stupidly) advance rhetorical, political, or financial agendas. But those terms achieved what currency or force they have because they they described very real conditions and behaviors. They fact that they frequently are incorrectly invoked in circumstances where they clearly are unwarranted does not somehow mean that the problems they properly describe are not real or worthy of attention.