The Paradox of Tolerance

Continuing the discussion from VERIFIED Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebook's association with Peter Thiel:

Once I believed in “live and let live” and tried to live my life that way.

It turned out that some other people didn’t respect that, I got bricks though my window, death threats through my door, attacked in the street. All because they didn’t like that I didn’t identify as the gender originally on my birth certificate. It’s not just me, I know other people who experienced the same abuse, one of them was murdered.

I still try to leave people alone, even if I don’t agree with them, but if they threaten me or people I know I will not accept it. Not anymore.

And now we have the Paradox of Tolerance. If I tolerate intolerance then I am putting my life in danger, as repeated observation has shown me.

As you don’t seem to like this, what would your solution be?

No reason to like what you hear, but you might see something like your reflection on the other side of the wall, and they’d be justified by your shitty actions.

May I ask what my shitty actions are?

And, yes, I am aware of psychological projection and try to watch out for it in my own behaviour. As a side effect it makes me very aware of it in other people.


Seriously, tolerating bigotry and hatred and intolerance fucks up the whole goal of diversity and tolerance itself.

It’s perfectly fine to be intolerant of hateful bigot assholes.


I find that the paradox of tolerance is often “we believe in tolerance as long as others believe the same as us”


My personal belief is that I should respect the right for people to live as they choose free from violence and coercion, as long as they give the same right to others.

Intolerant behaviour is usually coercive in nature but intolerance of intolerance can be self defence, as it is in my case.


I’ve had those two key words used against me as proof of why I & my kind shouldn’t be tolerated.

1 Like

Some more key words

They weren’t doing that to you.


My original point stands.

1 Like


You say this as if I haven’t personally experienced this too.


Persecution olympics; the only way to win is to not play.


Those who claim to be tolerant often refuse to tolerate others outside their thought system.

To be specific, I get static online & IRL over:

  • how I eat
  • my schedule
  • my belief system
  • my people’s homeland
  • supposed things my people have done to the world
  • I support mysoginy
  • I support mutilation of children
  • Insert Dawkinsite quote here
  • etc.

Contrast this with the behaviors of people who openly preach the opposite of tolerance & inclusion:

  • A possibly disturbed Christian tells me I’m going to hell or killed their Lord & savior
  • A skinhead or Arab makes death threats
  • etc.

Those things dont come as any surprise as the actors are completely and thoroughly within their professed thought system. That is to say there is no paradox between what they profess and their actions. I cant be surprised.


I get my own static.

One thing that i constantly police myself for is that I do not want to become like those who abuse me, whether it is the fascists who put bricks though my windows in the past or the TERFs who say that my existence is raping women. If my refusal to tolerate that behaviour, being treated as subhuman, makes me a hypocrite then so be it. I will tolerate those who will tolerate others, regardless of their beliefs.

I have mental scars from 2004 that won’t heal. I still feel the rage at being treated the way I was that year. I refuse to give in to it, but any repetition of that abuse makes it very hard. I never want to have to fight someone again, I am scared that if I start then I will never stop, but if the fascists come to my door again then what else can I do if I am to survive?

For what it’s worth, it was a Jewish woman who got me out of Carlisle at a time when people from my (now former) religion were turning their backs on me. She still regularly helps me when I have PTSD flashbacks.


Sincerely, I hope whatever it was, at some point it can just be in the past for you.


I understand you.


Cheering the ousting of those who have different values from you, especially when it comes to the abstract assumptions on their beliefs is simply being intolerant. I mean, we can say things like, tolerance and peace are not all they are chalked up to be. Still, on a simple level, I think it’s horrible and socially destructive to use this kind of ammunition in a corporate context. It would not be okay for a company to remove an executive for supporting Clinton. I understand that, on a personal scale, shutting intolerant people out of your life is likely necessary to maintain good health. On a macro social level, I think communication and operating with tolerance is both painful and necessary. You can’t just block the other side out and have a functioning democracy.

1 Like

For evil to prosper, good folks just have to do nothing, yadda yadda


Speaking as an outsider (I was born, and live in, Sweden), the US seems to have a bigger problem letting people who want to ‘live and let live’ than we do here.

I was raised in a family, thank heavens, where this was the (unspoken) way to be. By this I mean that my parents never lectured, never said ‘do this - don’t do that’, but rather showed the right and proper way by their example.

Yes, they were fine, gentle people.

And so far, at 59 years, it has worked fine for me - 97% of the time. There are always meddlers and people who would impose their random rules on others - this is to be expected.

But, knowing that I live a decent life, pay my bills etc puts me in a position to either ignore them or else give them short shrift.

Thank you.


Path of wisdom.

This topic was automatically closed after 111 days. New replies are no longer allowed.