Sunday, May 27, 2007

Coffee Talk


What does it mean to be tolerant? Growing up we are told to be tolerant of others, that we need to accept their beliefs and difference. There is an entire generation (Y or millennial) now that believes tolerance means each persons belief is equal to mine. You see that type of tolerance works for issue like race and gender, but it does not work the way for belief and ideologies. It may seem strange now to think about having to tolerate another race because comes so naturally. Each race is equal and really tolerance isn't the right word, it should be considered deserved equality. The act of tolerating is taking something that you naturally reject and building up a resistance to the effects it may have or your body or mind. This does not mean you now accept this as good or true, but merely have found a way to co-exist.

When talking about belief or religion we want to be talking about the truth. There can only be one truth, and that is fundamental to all religion. Where tolerance comes in is when we are able to co-exist with people who believe differently then we do. We do not need to accept their beliefs, but we need to accept them as humans and accept their right to believe. There is a pretty big difference, what is true for you needs to be for all.

How do you define tolerance? In your opinion is there a difference between tolerance and acceptance? Talk amongst yourselves..


Dan said...

This is a great topic Jason.

There are so many ideas floating around today and the push is to get people to accept them as truth. In the past, I think there was a push to tolerate other people and ideas, and my definition of tolerance is similar.

To tolerate, is to "put up" with things that oppose what you would do or think. The dictionary term is sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or in conflict with one's own.

This topic is similar in nature to a coffee talk we had a while back in discussing discrimination. The difference is the focus of our own stance in relation to things we know we don't agree with.

In the past, tolerance probably was the right word to use in relation to civil rights and religious differances because there were a lot of people that did not like black people in the US up until today even, but with groups like the KKK, it was more of a hate vs. dislike. Back in the day as well, people hated/disliked witches and there was a witch hunt in the US and abroad during the 1600's.

With such hatred, you need to just tolerate people and groups. This will keep people from killing each other which is what should happen in every society.

I think the next logical step would be to accept people and ideas. This is great, but I think this is going away from where we want to be as a society.

Growing up, I was always taught that I needed to respect other people and their ideas. I think the respect piece is more what tolerance is all about than anything.

Today though, tolerance does not deal with respect, it deals with the notion that once you tolerate, next you need to accept. Throughout history, tolerance is a necessity to have a fully healthy society. If we get to the point where people have to accept things they don't like, then we get back into the territory of hate and it goes downhill from there like with the KKK.

People need to be very mindful of this pressure to accept or reject people and ideas. Our society is going into that direction now with topics such as same-sex marriage and abortion.

I think respecting them is tolerating, passing laws to give them the right to openly enjoy in what the rest of society thinks is right and correct and in opposition to their views and lifestyle is not what we should be doing. Until there is the point where the majority "accepts" then it should not be law. We can't make laws on what the minority think unless the minority are making a decision that is truly the right decision for the future.

amy said...

Hear, hear. I'm so sick of people tap-dancing around with, "I don't agree with the lifestyle, but I tolerate it." Um, you don't agree? In what respect - you mean you won't hit me if I do something you disagree with? That's not so human - that is the one of the effects of labeling behavior in shades of "tolerance." The language around these kinds of discussions is defunct in its weakness to represent what's really happening - i.e. folks learning how to see other folks in a different light, figuring out how we might benefit from behaviors and notions that make us uncomfortable, etc - so that it can reflect the experiences, as varied and difficult as they might be, so that we can communicate better.

I'll just be climbing down from my soapbox now. Thank you.

p.s. I'm so loving these downloads. This coming from a computer illiterate who stills buys her music from itunes.