RationalCyclist contemplates the contradiction of an increasingly intolerant society extolling tolerance:
It occurred to me that things have a tendency to engender their opposites. I'm no anthropologist / sociologist; surely there is a buzzword or catchphrase to describe the phenomenon where prominence given to any one particular human virtue ends up bringing about its opposite, either by necessity filling a void, or by stimulating an equal and opposite reaction.I have no criticism or analysis to offer here, I just thought it was an interesting way to go about looking at the subject.
This preamble, being a roundabout way of introducing a rather neat assertion that I have assembled relating to the nature of tolerance in societies founded on Christian and Islamic systems. In a nutshell:
I) Tolerance is a virtue intrinsic to societies built on a Christian foundation, often taken to grotesque ends by members not possessed of its corresponding virtues of modesty/humility who prefer to exploit it to flatter their moral vanity.
II) Tolerance is a necessary coping mechanism in structurally hypocritical cultures subject to endless strictures on every form of activity, as is often found in Islamic cultures, where it accordingly finds more natural limits.
To many, the first statement will sound baffling. The second outright offensive. Allow me to explain. Firstly, it is worth clarifying that the ability to express intolerance of certain actions and behaviours is probably as essential as the capacity to tolerate individual differences is to the moral health of any given culture. Which brings me to a second point of clarity relating to terms. It merits a brief iteration of the six possible attitudes one may adopt toward any given point of principle:
Rejection = disbelief + opposition
Tolerance = disbelief + passivity
Submission = disbelief + support
Denialism = belief + opposition
Acceptance = belief + passivity
Celebration = belief + support
It is surely a sign of how progressive we have all become that we can move so nimbly between Rejection and Celebration these days, no? Perhaps another category is needed to describe criminalising people for failing to celebrate things that were illegal less than five decades ago.
On the surface, celebration and rejection would appear to be the most principled stances to take on any given subject, which is no doubt why those who have an existential need to think well of themselves avail themselves of their use with such frequency.