Tolerance?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Blessed87, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Blessed87

    Blessed87 A restored soul

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    Recently I've been researching a bit on tolerance, and one Christian source is saying that the definition of tolerance is changing in today's society.
    So tell me, what is tolerance to you, and what is its significance?
     
  2. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant Well-Known Member

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    Tolerance to me is respecting other peoples choices.. Its not my job as a Christian to save everyone..Jesus did that already.. my command was to share the gospel with love... so that everyone can learn that Jesus saved them. You cant do that if you come at people telling them they are wrong and are damned. That your way is the only way.. The big thing for me is trusting in the Lord...His is the voice that ultimately gets heard... keeping Him on the throne... and loving everyone like Jesus told me to.

    Now.. that was religious tolerance.. There are other things that I do not tolerate very well.. especially political issues.
     
  3. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Yep, I'm pretty much with Faithful Servant.

    As for tolerance outside of religion, I pretty much follow the same rule of thought unless someone's actions are harming someone else. Then I think taking a stand is appropriate. Cultural diversity is great, but I'm also for human rights (and wise stewardship of the earth's resources), and I tend to be pretty outspoken on those issues. Being a social scientist, though, I tend to approach these social and environmental problems with the intention of understanding why people do what they do first, and then changing the system and their options to effect change. I've noticed yelling at folks really doesn't get much done; understanding them and then working within the limits of their society, culture, and worldview is more likely to get positive results.
     
  4. brucegdc

    brucegdc Moderator

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    To me, I think tolerance is basically "I may be wrong" - which applies across the board. In religion, my experience/revelation/sense of deity/whatever is what works for me. I do not know if it is right - nor if it will work for someone else, or even the me of 10 minutes from now. Thus I need to accept that someone else's viewpoint may be more correct than mine - and probably is for them. That prevents me from stuffing my ideas/beliefs down someone else's throat.

    On the other hand, "I may be right" stops me accepting someone else stuffing their ideas/beliefs down my throat.

    When it comes to the actions of others, it comes down to non-interference between consenting adults or non-harmful activities , in my book - with the corollary of they'd better not be interfering with me either - sort of in balance. Note that this does *not* allow harm to others - my tolerance does not extend to someone hurting someone else without their consent... e.g. muggers. Nor to non-adults - which becomes a bit of a grey area - if I see a parent about to swat their kid, I have to stop and think about interference. No question if they're about to hit them with a board or something - I would definitely interfere, but a simple swat falls under my tolerance policy [although I could concoct a situation which would be an exception - e.g. a visibly battered kid...].

    It's that balance between "Your views/actions may be correct" and "Mine may be correct", IMO - that's tolerance...

    Just noticed the clock... posting at 1AM may make the preceeding incomprehensible... if so, don't bother reading it :)
     
  5. Blessed87

    Blessed87 A restored soul

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    Thank you for your views everyone. I'm planning on having a presentation in one of my classes on the topic of tolerance, so this has been helpful.

    Tell me this: Does anyone believe religious tolerance is saying that someone else's beliefs are just as valid as your own? (similar to Brucegdc's answer)
     
  6. brucegdc

    brucegdc Moderator

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    I don't know about "just as valid", as that implies a universal applicability - but lacking proof of which is right, I have to accept & respect that for *them* their beliefs hold the same level of validity as mine do to me.

    .. Bruce
     
  7. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi, Peace All--

    Everything everyone has said here. I just would like to add one thing. I don't know if this directly applies to the question, but I think it is also very wise and part of tolerance to remember that just because one may have had a bad experience with a person or a group of people claiming to subscribe to any given religion, these people may not be representative of all who claim the same. Does that make sense? (Wow, that was a really long sentence:) )

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  8. earl

    earl ?

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    Hi Blessed87. If you're looking for a good essay that relates to this from a progressive Christian source, could check out this link to Christopher Bamford's. essay re traditions of sacred hospitality:
    http://www.monasticdialog.com/bulletins/73/bamford1.htm

    Bamford is a wonderful mystically or esoterically inclined contemporary writer & this site is a great one sponsored by monastic Christians related to intermonastic dialogue.

    Bruce-love your idea though! Love + humility make for great recipe to promote tolerance. thanks, Earl
     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    as Austin Power "faddah" says:


    there are two things that i can't stand; people that are intolerant of other peoples cultures, and the Dutch!



    :D
     
  10. Blessed87

    Blessed87 A restored soul

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    That's a great story, earl. That's what I want, much thinking of others, and very little of myself. The question this poses is, How? I believe through reading and practicing the Bible. It's a struggle, and even though I have not been on what I call "the path of growth" very long, I have seen that it is wonderful indeed to put aside self and serve others. I don't know that I'd call it tolerance, but that's okay, it's a vital key to having true life.
     
  11. foreversearching

    foreversearching peace upon everyone

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    I beleive that religious tolerance is accepting that otehr people have beliefs that are different from my own and respecting them even if I don't beleive them myself.

    As for if they are as valid as my own, yes I believe that one presons beliefs are as valid to them as mine are to me. I don't beleive anybody's beliefs are wrong, they are just different from my own. I think nobody can say who is right or wrong because we just don't know, and if we did there wouldn't be any need for religious tolerance becuase we'd all be following the same thing and it would get very boring.

    Lisa x :)
     
  12. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    yes i see it that way also:)
     
  13. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Blessed87,
    there is a real good post by Juantoo3 somewhere around here on tolerance & acceptance. Maybe someone else will remember where it is? & I think you would find it very useful.

    I do not think we are looking at a universal type of religion in respect, but i see a trend of the powers in politics & religion, looking to that for the future. Though I see deception in that.
     
  14. Blessed87

    Blessed87 A restored soul

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    Yes, Bandit, I did happen to see that thread today. I mostly agreed, but more than that the thread by Juantoo3 was inspiring to me, which is what matters more for now. Thanks for mentioning it, though!
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    What is Tolerance? Perhaps learning to listen, rather than speak...
     
  16. hammer

    hammer happatheist

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    Woah....Good call Brian!!!
     
  17. jaxree

    jaxree Member

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    I guess I'll be the ass here and say that I don't need to respect or like someone or something to tolerate them. For instance, I don't like the wait in a doctor's office, and I don't respect the inefficiency of most medical facilities, but I'll tolerate it. I don't like chatty taxi drivers or babies who cry on the plane, but I'll tolerate them.

    Perhaps tolerance is a more generalized respect for other people. We understand that they have to get through life as best they can, just like we do, so we tolerate the things we don't like about them, just as we hope they tolerate our imperfections.

    But while I respect in a general way anyone's right to think and live as they want, as long as it does no harm to others, there are specific things that I respect less. For instance, I don't respect the decision the Kansas state school board made that demands creation be taught as a science. I don't really respect the circular logic with which many fundamentalists use in their interpretation of the Bible or the Koran. But I will tolerate them. That's part of living in a free society.

    In the end I think I can be tolerant without being deferential. I'll tolerate an evangelical trying to create laws based on his faith, but I will also fiercely fight it with argument, persuasion and any other means available to me.

    While I know I don't have all the answers to the universe's mysteries, and I never will, that doesn't mean I think everyone's answers are equal. I believe there are those that are better than others, and I use my judgment to decide which make the most sense. I'll tolerate someone's bad ideas, but I won't say they are as good as anyone's.

    Perhaps that is a harsh definition of tolerance.
     
  18. TrueBeliever

    TrueBeliever Member

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    To me tolerance is not judging others for their beliefs just because you believe differently. We are all on the same journey, we each need to find our
    own path. Tolerance is accepting that your path may be different than mine
    but it's getting us both where we need to be.
     
  19. michaellangelo

    michaellangelo Member

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    its suprising how deep tolerance can go ..from a larger political/religious world view to tolerating the guy who jumps the queue. its really interesting to see everyones different angles and interpretations of it.

    people seem to mention tolerance and respect together. i'm thinking maybe tollerance and respect go hand in hand, tolerating something should perhaps be more than just biting my tongue at something that fustrates me.

    for me tolerance usually means trying to stay calm and reasonable by respecting something which i could dissagree with.

    6.6billion people means 6.6billion individual ways of life. it kind of seems silly that we can disturb ourselves by not accepting this basic human fact.


    just some quick thoughts

    peace
     
  20. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    How tolerance is applied depends on the perspective of the individual who is being tolerant. In this particular case, I think the two concepts below apply:

    It can mean the acceptance of the differing views of others, and fairness toward people who hold these different views, or

    It can mean the act of putting up with somebody or something irritating or otherwise unpleasant.

    In the first sense, the individual being "tolerant" does not neccessarily accept the differing views themselves, only that the individual accepts that others have differing views, and treats those others with fairhandedness regardless.

    In the second sense, the individual being "tolerant" is actually not accepting of others or things, but is suffering to remain neutral, for a miriad of possible reasons (e.g. not wanting to cause a scene, out of politeness, out of fear, etc.).

    I suspect that many people talk of the first sense of tolerance, but in reality, tend to function in the second sense of tolerance.

    Subsequently, though the first sense of tolerance takes time and experience, once achieved, it can be maintained indefinitely with no effort, and is sincere, wherein the second sense of tolerance can be generated instantly, but requires a great deal of energy, and can not be sustained for long. It is also hypocritical.

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     

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