Wednesday, September 28, 2011

paradox of tolerance

The paradox of tolerance posits that a tolerant person might be against intolerance, so by definition they would be intolerant of intolerance. However, this means they are not truly tolerant if they would not accept intolerant members. However, what is the alternative? Karl Popper has summed it up nicely:

“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society... then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them... We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

The most ruthless and sycophantic will lead unless we shut them out early on.


Buickguy said...

OK. Hm-m-m. What prompted you to opine on the intolerant?

mumble said...

What a bunch of double babble!

Anonymous said...

Ruthless and sycophantic isn't that a perfect definition for the USA exterior policy (for years)?

Brian said...

I cannot remember the particular prompt. I make a lot of notes about things that catch my eye and then often do not get to them for a couple weeks. By then, the original inspiration has passed, but the idea is there. Perhaps it was inception.