Tolerance: When is enough enough?

I found out today that a dear, dear friend of mine is strongly against gay marriage and homosexuality. Why? “Because it says it in the Bible”

This got me thinking – I was disappointed and enraged by her view and I think that it is an awful excuse for being so prejudiced and injust. However, I have spent all my life trying to be tolerant to other people’s opinions and, like many others, was taught that you had to respect religious beliefs.

But how far can tolerance go?

This view isn’t just as simple as what happens after you die, or who did what thousands of years ago, it potentially lowers the quality and happiness of somebody’s life. When is enough enough?

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One thought on “Tolerance: When is enough enough?

  1. There absolutely nothing wrong with intolerance per se, not even the most outrageous examples of it.

    The problem is when people claim the right to INITIATE FORCE against others in order to IMPOSE their intolerances onto other people.

    Our current society is based upon a small group of people claiming (and violently defending) their monopolistic LEGAL and MORAL right to INITIATE FORCE against everyone else to achieve their objectives. No other group in society is allowed to behave in this way.

    What separates this group (who call themselves ‘government’) from a mafia is that ‘government’ allow us (the public) to petition them to initiate force (coercion, intimidation, violence, kidnapping etc) ON OUR BEHALF, against people in society who we wish to oppress with our various intolerances, agendas and other desires.

    (….actually, if truth be told, mafias also allow the public to petition them in the same way.)

    Without the potential to initiate force (made possible by the state) nobody in Kansas is going to give cat’s whisker about some gay couple in LA, even if they are intolerant of gay marriage. That would be utterly ridiculous! Can you imagine them taking time off work to drive up to LA to ‘protest’ against their union? And obviously if they tried to INITIATE FORCE to stop them getting married they’d be arrested for attempted assault/ kidnapping or whatever.

    Having society organised almost exclusively through the INITIATION OF FORCE brings out the very worst in people. It is antithetical to civilised society. One only needs to look at how the rest of society operates whenever government is NOT involved. People soon learn to cooperate, collaborate, get along, put aside petty differences…. and if not they lose out. In ordinary society bigoted, intolerant, ignorant, opinionated people are usually miserable and lonely ….. whereas free thinking, open minded, compassionate, friendly people are usually happy and active.

    The whole concept of ‘tolerance’ needs examining because it kind of suggests being civilised human beings (ie NOT initiating force against other people to oppress them) is something we have to fight hard to achieve. The idea of being a ‘tolerant person’ implies that WITHOUT your precious ‘tolerance’ if you saw a gay wedding and you had a gun you’d use it to stop the wedding.

    ‘Tolerance’ towards gays basically means resisting the urge to initiate force against them. Imagnien this concept being applied to women (ie resisting the urge to initiate force against women). This ‘tolerance’ is hardly a something to be proud of, it’s like saying “I didn’t rape any women today, because I’ve decided to be tolerant of the views of single women”……. m’kay ….. do you want a round of applause or something?!

    ‘Tolerance/ intolerance’ is therefore a red herring….. in reality there are just people who are willing to initiate force against others to get what they want in life (either directly, or via third party agency of force such as a ‘government’ or hired mafia) … and there are other people who are NOT willing to initiate force to get what they want in life. It’s as simple as that 🙂

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