Sat, 05 Apr 2014

On Tolerating Intolerance

Over on Twitter, @RussB (Russ Beattie) and @jzb ( Joe Brockmeier) are promoting the argument that you can tolerate everything but intolerance, and that is the only logical position to take.

No. That is baby thinking. Because intolerance is the combination of 1) disagreement and 2) action. Which part of intolerance is unacceptable? The disagreement part? Let us all hope that tolerant people tolerate disagreement, otherwise the word has no meaning. So is action unacceptable? "It's okay if you disagree with me, but as soon as you do anything about that disagreement, you are wrong and I am right and you must be stopped?"

Sorry, no, that is intolerance.

This is prompted, of course, by Brendan Eich's dismissal from Mozilla. I must of course (unless I want to be intolerated) note that I disagree with him, and that I support gay marriage. But I also support people's freedom to disagree with me and take action on that disagreement.

And (I think this is the crucial point) I support imperfect leaders. If you want to insist that every leader be perfect and without flaw, then you will have only liars and frauds as leaders, because nobody is perfect. I cannot see how having liars and frauds as leaders is a good thing.

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