Tolerance

Tolerance:

Don’t be a tyrant unto me, and I also don’t be a tyrant unto you.

A more tolerant society is a better society. But what are the caveats?

Maximally intolerant towards intolerant people (Nassim Taleb, Skin in the Game)

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This one seems a bit confusing, but let me explain.

If someone is a Nazi or racist and wants to infringe on the rights of others, or wants to cause physical harm or violence unto others, we should lock them up. Nazis and racists are maximally intolerant, thus as a society, we must as a society be maximally intolerant towards them (we cannot tolerate their extreme behavior and actions).

For example, if you’re a racist and you attack someone else based on their race, should we as a society tolerate your behavior? No. We should punish you, and put you into jail.

Private intolerance

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Let’s say I’m a racist, but I don’t act upon my racism. I keep it to myself. I don’t share it with anyone, nor do I act in a violent way unto others. I think this is fine. If you’re intolerant (privately), that’s fine. It’s only when your intolerance affects embodied reality and humans in the flesh … this is a problem.

Freedom of speech

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This is where freedom of speech is tricky.

In America, we got freedom of speech. But should I be free to spread hateful rhetoric, which encourages violence and intolerance? No.

In an extreme case, people should be allowed to share hate speech (it is their right). But when do they cross the line? When they encourage others to become intolerant, or when they encourage others to be violent.

Why is tolerance important?

We shouldn’t force everyone to have the same beliefs or think the same way. For example, I don’t want everyone to share my beliefs. I don’t want to force my beliefs unto others, and to force them to do as I do. But similarly, I don’t want you to be tolerant with my beliefs.

This is where the whole political debate is misguided. Both sides should be tolerant towards the beliefs of others. In politics, all is opinion. There is no truth.

Can I wear a MAGA hat in Berkeley?

Am I “allowed” to be a Donald Trump supporter in Berkeley? I don’t think so.

Assuming politics is akin to religion, shouldn’t everyone be allowed to practice whatever religion they want?

What’s a fascist anyways?

To my understanding, a fascist or fascist government is one which uses military force, and fear of death and killing to coerce citizens to think, behave, or act a certain way. Nazi Germany were fascists, America isn’t. If a government doesn’t use guns or violence to coerce you into submission, it ain’t a fascist government.

The goal: Maximal tolerance towards tolerant people

A thought:

Perhaps we should become MORE tolerant towards those who exhibit tolerance.

Will this be the shift which can change the world for the better?

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ERIC


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By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher