Advertisement

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Understanding tolerance

September 01, 2010|By Joe Puglia

If I hear the word "tolerance again" I swear I'm gonna throw myself under a bus. I have no tolerance for how tolerance is used by the politically correct crowd.

I think I was a fly on the wall at the signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938. You remember that? That's when Neville Chamberlain, the prime minister of England, conceded the Sudetenland to Adolph Hitler. "Come on chaps, we need some tolerance," Chamberlain said. "The Nazis are really nice guys."

We all know the outcome of that meeting.

Don't give me the argument, "Dr. Joe, you're comparing apples to oranges." Your gonna' lose that one, and furthermore that's my line.

Advertisement

In our multi-cultural society tolerance has become the new messiah. Under the guise of enlightenment some sell their souls and others barter any semblance of critical thought for this new panacea, "tolerance." The original perception of tolerance as the recognition of the rights of individuals to their own opinions and customs is the essence of a liberal democracy. Nota bene: I have no problem with that. However, today the implied meaning is skewed under the pretext of a New Age, broad swath of tolerance called political correctness.

Today it appears that every time we turn around there is something society is mandating that we are required to be tolerant of. There is an assumed enlightenment within the mainstay of America that dictates the perspective of the masses under the guise of tolerance. Any differentiation of what is presumed to be true is met with the contra argument that you're offensive, insensitive, a bigot, or a racist. The common mantra is that you have a right to your opinions as long as it's in agreement with politically correct America. So what happens to freedom of speech?

Maybe indiscriminate tolerance is not a virtue; maybe it's actually a vice as pernicious as any other. Aristotle said, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." But that's my point. Indiscriminate tolerance is oppressive to thought. If you don't walk the party line you're censored and forced to wear the scarlet letter.

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles
|
|
|