What is Tolerance?

By Arthur Khachatryan

As the golden rule asserts, we need to treat everyone as we would like to be treated. We, therefore, need to be tolerant of others. But what is tolerance? A well-known dictionary defines tolerance as, “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own.”

Two descriptive terms of the definition of tolerance that stand out are “objective” and “permissive.” These are the types of attitudes communicated in the description. The sentiment of tolerance in regards to how we approach people via our attitudes is important. We must approach everyone with fairness and respect. While a respectful attitude must be exhibited in our approach, we must never have to sacrifice the truth to do it. Tolerance must never replace reality. Our communication might be a little more tender and respectful, but the truth must always remain the bedrock of our existence.

A cold-blooded murderer almost certainly has less regard for human life than most others. If we intend to be tolerant of all people, all things, and all ideas, then this murderer’s opinions about life and his practices of murder would have to be justly considered before labeling or condemning this person. But our most intuitive feelings about this person’s opinions, ideas and practices are already well established. Should we as a society be tolerant of murderers? Should we try to be understanding of their views and their ways? Should we let them run loose? We can easily see that it is impossible and irrational to try to be tolerant of everyone, everything, and every idea. There are opinions, ideas, and practices that we should never tolerate.

As the truth becomes less prevalent and harder to uncover, we find ourselves embracing a watered-down reality, flooded with apathy for the acceptance of all ideas, regardless of facts…


What is Tolerance? | Cold and Lonely Truth