MembersTolerance at any Price?

Tolerance is only worth the sum of its motives.

By Ludwig Schneider | | Topics: exegesis
Photo: (WikiCommons)

And there are all sorts of motives for tolerance: One is shallowness, which simply cannot be bothered to examine another person’s argument more carefully; another is cowardice, which will tolerate anything out of fear of confrontation or reprisals. Because we are afraid of the Islamists, our tolerance toward them turns us into their partners in crime. In 1776, German king Frederick the Great wrote the following to French philosopher and writer Voltaire: “In any society, tolerance allows every citizen the freedom to believe whatever he wants; however, it should not go so far as to endorse the insolence and the lawlessness of evildoers.”

In other words, a democracy must be intolerant of evil; otherwise it will become a pawn in the hands of terrorists. For those who demand tolerance from the rest of the world are often brutally intolerant of anyone with a different point of view.

Tolerance is not simply accepting the opinions of others; rather it is the impartial competition between different points of view and beliefs. This is the foundation of true tolerance, for the only person...

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