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March 11, 2016

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The Sine Qua Non of Tolerance:

Disagreement, even strong disagreement, is not, indeed cannot be, what constitutes the essence of "in"-tolerance. In fact, to approach one another and reality with such a premise is to end up, finally, in an array of reductio ad absurdums of our own making which transport us inescapably into the pains of a deflationary view of worth when it comes to one another and into the pains of a deflationary view of truth when it comes to all truth predicates whatsoever.

The presuppositional composition embedded in Tolerance amid all the affairs of the question, Are There Objective Truths About God? transport all of us necessarily into [1] objective truth and [2] love as the pillars buttressing the essence which constitutes tolerance.

An excerpt:

“If this weren’t bad enough, it seems to me that Radical Pluralism is also self-refuting. We need only ask ourselves, “Is Radical Pluralism objectively true?” It claims that “There is no objective truth about the word;” but that statement purports itself to be an objective truth about the world. It says that “Each individual constitutes reality,” so that there is no objective reality; but that is itself a statement about objective reality. It states that the proposition “Truth is pluralistic” is objectively true, which is self-refuting.

The Radical Pluralist cannot escape this incoherence by saying that it is only from his perspective that there is no objective truth about the world. For if that is true only from his perspective, that does not preclude that there is objective truth about the world, in which case his perspective is objectively false. If he replies that it is only from someone else’s perspective that there is objective truth about the world, then it follows that all truth is perspectival, or that Radical Pluralism is objectively true, which is incoherent.

Why is it, then, that in our day and age so many people seem attracted to pluralistic and relativistic views of truth, despite the fact that they are both preposterous and self-refuting? I believe the attraction is due to a misunderstanding of the concept of tolerance. In our democratic society, we have a deep commitment to the value of tolerance of different views. Many people have the impression that tolerance requires radical pluralism with regard to truth. They seem to think that the claim that objective truth exists is incompatible with tolerance of other views because those views must be regarded as false. So in order to maintain tolerance of all views, one must not regard any of them as false. They must *all* be true. But since they are mutually contradictory, they cannot all be *objectively* true. Hence, truth must be relative and pluralistic.

But it seems to me pretty obvious that such a view is based on an incorrect understanding of tolerance. The very concept of tolerance *entails* that you disagree with that which you tolerate. Otherwise, you wouldn’t tolerate it; you would agree with it! Thus, one can only tolerate a view if one regards that view as false. You can’t tolerate a view which you believe to be true. Thus, the very concept of toleration presupposes that one believes the tolerated view to be false. So objective truth is not incompatible with tolerance; on the contrary the objectivity of truth is presupposed by tolerance.

The correct basis of tolerance is not [and indeed cannot be] pluralism, but the inherent worth of every human being created in the image of God and therefore endowed with certain God-given rights, including freedom of thought and expression. That’s *why* Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” The basis of tolerance is not relativism, but love.” (W.L. Craig, emphasis added)

It is the case that [A] tolerance itself presupposes objective truth and [B] loving one’s enemy – the sine qua non of tolerance – obtains in and by the transposition of Logos – in and by love’s eternal sacrifice of self – in and by “…… the God who is glorified by sacrificing Himself for creation and not by sacrificing creation for Himself…..” (Fischer)

I would simply ask the person if they've ever cracked open a reputable dictionary?

Karl Popper would be appalled at the application of his thinking on this matter. In a more extended quote I found, he elaborated:

"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal."

Only through radically reworking the concept of tolerance can one enlist Popper as an ally in the forcible suppression of points of view with which one disagrees.

It sounds like his view of tolerance is similar to witchcraft's "Do no harm" and "Blessed be": both hold the attitude of do what you want as long as you don't hurt/harm others.

But actions do impact and effect those around us. Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.

"Wrong. Tolerance is..." Woah, sounds like someone is being intolerant.

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