The three D’s of tolerance

The three D’s of tolerance 


Tolerance Requires a Disagreement

Tolerance is unnecessary when you and I agree on something. What’s there to tolerate when we both agree? Tolerance is required when two people don’t agree on something important. Tolerance is not a celebration of harmonious agreement, but a strategy for peaceful coexistence in the midst of disagreement. Tolerance is the attitude we adopt when we refuse to embrace a notion as true, not the act of embracing that notion as though it were true.

Tolerance Requires a Distinction

Tolerance is required when the two positions we hold are distinctly opposed. Competing worldviews that contradict one another, for example, require us to adopt an attitude of tolerance. That’s why it’s so important to examine what others believe, as well as what we believe (and why we believe it). The more self examined you are in your approach to truth, the more necessary it is to learn to tolerate others. The more you examine truth, the more likely you are to find that others will disagree with you.

Tolerance Requires a Demeanor

Finally, tolerance requires a response in the midst of the distinction and disagreement. The proper reaction is not acquiescence to the proposal or worldview being offered, but is instead a loving demeanor toward those with whom we disagree. It’s OK to hate a bad idea, as long as we remember that we are called to love those who hold bad ideas. I can reject a worldview yet still be “fair, objective, and permissive” toward those who hold this worldview. How I react toward people is what defines me as tolerant, not how I react toward ideas.
Comment: Author is J. Warner Wallace, Image source

The new "tolerance"

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