Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dangers of Consistent "Tolerance"

The new tolerance has plenty of philosophical and pragmatic problems. Last year I discussed the intolerance of the new tolerance. I showed how the new tolerance is actually self-defeating. However today I want to talk about the effects if the new tolerance was the philosophy and practice of the earliest humans.

Traditionally tolerance has been described as being able to civilly live alongside a person if they hold contrary beliefs. The person being tolerant could still be considered "tolerant" if they questioned and debated the other person. However, today tolerance eliminates that last bit. In order to be considered "tolerant" we not only must be able to civilly live alongside those who hold contrary beliefs, but we cannot question or debate the other person. Some would even take it as far as to say that one person must celebrate or even accept the contrary view as containing the same level of truth as their own belief.


Besides the fact that this violates the law of non-contradiction, this kind of thinking would have prevented civilization from advancing. Let us go back to the earliest of humans. What little knowledge these people possessed had to be passed down to the younger generations. As people learned more, they communicated more to their offspring. The thing is, "teaching" involves being intolerant of incorrect views of reality. By "intolerant" I mean that the teacher does not celebrate the incorrect view of the student; the teacher does not say that both the correct view and the incorrect view contain the same level of truth; the teacher tells the student that they cannot hold the incorrect view and still get far in life.

In the days of early humanity, a tolerant teacher did not setup the student for failure in life, but in the ability to live, period. If the teacher allowed a student to believe that a rattle snake was just a larger version of a gardener snake (and even celebrated that false view), that kid was as good as dead the next time they irritated one. You get enough teachers willing to allow the philosophy of the new tolerance to guide their teaching, the human race would have become extinct just a few generations after it was created. But, of course, that is taking it to a pretty ridiculous level.

Let's back off a bit. What if the teachers were intolerant of incorrect views about animals, but tolerant about views of mathematics. If a teacher knew that 1+1=2, yet allowed one student to believe that it equaled 3, another 5, yet another 6.5, etc...the more advanced forms of mathematics (multiplication in this case) would not have had the possibility to make it past the generation of people who knew that 1+1=2. The earliest of engineering projects based on the simplest mathematics would not have happened.

If our ancestors had lived by the philosophy of tolerance that is being accepted today, we would not be alive to accept it today. This is an implication that people need to consider before they accept this philosophy. It is not livable- it is not pragmatic. It may seem that it keeps anger and fighting to a minimum, but that only takes place existentially (here and now). If the new tolerance is held and practiced consistently, it can never be questioned, and must be celebrated. By doing that, it guarantees either the destruction of those who hold it, or their dependence on those who do not hold it. Those who hold it become a perpetual slave to Tolerance. If one should point that out, they are accused of being intolerant, and they are ignored. The tolerant now have another notch in their belt of tolerance, which means that they are being squeezed tighter every time they defend the philosophy.

This view is not progressive, but regressive. Some people like to call it an "enlightened" doctrine, but it is also an anti-intellectual doctrine. Reason and intelligence are removed piece-by-piece with every added notch in the belt, until reason and intelligence disappear completely. The tolerant have now become the enlightened leeches of society.

Before anyone accuses me of being intolerant (in the traditional way), I want to point out that I have no problem with getting along with people who hold opposing beliefs about reality, as long as both sides agree that their is an ontological truth, and one of us holds it or neither of us holds it, but both of us cannot hold it. The way to discover which is correct also cannot be stifled. Civil discussion and debate must be allowed and tolerated, but never themselves celebrated. If we focus on celebrating the discussions or the debates themselves, we miss their purpose- to discover and accept the truth and discover and reject the falsehood. If we celebrate the interactions rather than their purposes, we ignore the truth- the new tolerance in disguise. What is to be celebrated is truth, not the ignorance of it, not the process to find it.

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