Tolerance

Tolerance is needed when two parties disagree.

Tolerance (n)

The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with

A fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

So often people demand that those who will not concede and agree with them are being intolerant but making such a demand is itself intolerant.
 
When someone disagrees with you and insists you must change to their opinion they are being intolerant of your opinion.
 
For example, a person who is commited to following the teaching of Jesus Christ and his Apostles will come to the conclusion that to participate in homosexual acts is inconsistent with their Christian faith and teaching.  They will assert that they cannot call themselves a Christian and a homosexual.
 
A common response of homosexual people is to be offended by this assertion.  They might see it as being judgemental, discriminatory. They might insist that the Christian cease not only to make their assertion but that they cease to believe it altogether. This is intolerance by intolerant people.
 
At the same time the Christian might make the assertion but it would be intolerant of them if they insist the non-Christian must accept and follow their understanding and beliefs.  They must accept that others will hold views and lifestyles they could not follow.
 
If they were being tolerant with each other the two groups would accept they are in disagreement but they would live in “a fair, objective and permissive attitude” towards each other.
 
People who agree with each other do not show tolerance to each other – the word is simply inapplicable. People who agree with each other do not tolerate each other (at least on the subject on which they agree) - they simply agree with each other.
Tolerance means agreeing to disagree then doing your best to get on with each other.

173 Modified: 21-03-2023
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