I’ve been struck by the intolerance of the tolerance crowd. As funny as it sounds, I believe that tolerance actually requires tolerance of views contrary to your own. Some recent discussions and articles that I’ve read seem to suggest that an alternative definition is evolving for the word. The new definition of tolerance implies that you must accept or adopt the currently popular viewpoint. I think that type of extreme political correctness not only shuts down debate and hinders freedom, but limits free thinking.
I saw this quote and liked it, so I found the original article (link provided, paraphrased and emphasis added):
In an effort to legitimize their values and purposes, groups are accusing others of the sins they themselves are committing, hate and intolerance. The demand to be tolerated has morphed into a demand to be accepted, which in turn, has resulted in a cry and demand that the rights of others be denied and that they set aside their own sets of values and associations.
While I am conflicted about the underlying issue discussed in the article, I support the premise of the argument.
On that topic, I have also been impressed by 2 recent podcasts on Econtalk. Russ Roberts, the podcast host, often disagrees without being disagreeable. I like his academic approach. He demonstrates how the 1st Amendment is supposed to work and why in the marketplace of free ideas, people with truly good ideas don’t have shut down dissenting viewpoints. I highly recommend their download. Here they are:
First, Russ Roberts,invited Louis Michael Seidman of Georgetown University to discuss his controversial position that the we should ignore the Constitution in designing public policy, relying instead on the merits of policy regardless of their constitutionality.
Second, Russ interviews Cathy O’Neil, data scientist and blogger at mathbabe.org, about her journey from Wall Street to Occupy Wall Street. She talks about her experiences on Wall Street that ultimately led her to join the Occupy Wall Street movement.