Tolerance and intolerance

I started with some vague thoughts about all the intolerance on IC, and decided that what happens on IC is in fact a reflection of what happens in larger world. After some cerebral meandering I decided that intolerance is a human condition be it about food, disease, attitude or practice. It comes in all shapes and sizes, personal, group, national, international. It’s a huge area open for debate.

So I thought about tolerance. To tolerate something implies certain reluctance somehow, a limitation in endurance: it implies a suffering of or allowance of something which is not wholeheartedly accepted. Maybe that’s better than intolerance which seems at all levels to be destructive and ultimately self defeating.

There seems, once you start to think about intolerance and tolerance, a huge chasm in between the two. It’s actually quiet difficult to find a comfortable place to perch.

We all want justice in our lives on a micro and macro level. If we want justice we should tolerate the intolerant and then if we are tolerant, do we have the right to complain when we ourselves are not tolerated? I guess not.

However to preserve our tolerant and just beliefs, society, religion, culture etc… we have to have some rules, I think in society we would call it law which is supposed to be objective and there is an expectation that the intolerant will abide within those boundaries so as not to endanger the tolerant or, forfeit their rights when they cross those boundaries. But then to apply the full weight of ‘justice’, even the intolerant have some rights…. to freedom of expression for example and so we begin to apply different rules for different people.

So I came to the conclusion that the whole area of tolerance and intolerance is more conflict ridden and controversial than I first thought and I am no closer to an answer than I was before I began to think about the intolerance on IC.

As I wrote at the beginning, it’s a human condition. And I’m left wondering what if I don’t want to be tolerant of those who are intolerant and I become one of the intolerant? What happens to me then because I do want justice in our web community.

So for now, I’m going to stick with where I was and whatever I have to say, I will endeavour to say it with as much graciousness and thoughtfulness as I muster even when I really don’t like what I’m reading.


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