From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them." --Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), Vol. 1 (in note 4 to Chapter 7).
Toleration and tolerance are terms used in social, cultural and religious contexts to describe attitudes and practices that prohibit discrimination against those practices or group memberships that may be disapproved of by those in the majority. Conversely, intolerance may be used to refer to the discriminatory practices sought to be prohibited. Though developed to refer to the religious toleration of minority religious sects following the Protestant Reformation, these terms are increasingly used to refer to a wider range of tolerated practices and groups, such as the toleration of sexual practices and orientations, or of political parties or ideas widely considered objectionable.
The principle of toleration is controversial. Liberal critics may see in it an inappropriate implication that the "tolerated" custom or behavior is an aberration or that authorities have a right to punish difference; such critics may instead emphasize notions such as civility or pluralism. Other critics, some sympathetic to traditional fundamentalism, condemn toleration as a form of moral relativism. On the other hand, defenders of toleration may define it as involving positive regard for difference or, alternately, may regard a narrow definition of the term as more specific and useful than its proposed alternatives, since it does not require false expression of enthusiasm for groups or practices that are genuinely disapproved of.
- Christian debate on persecution and toleration
- International Day for Tolerance
- Islam and other religions
- Multifaith space
- Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
- Paradox of tolerance
- Religious discrimination
- Religious intolerance
- Religious liberty
- Religious persecution
- Religious pluralism
- Repressive Tolerance
- Secular state
- Separation of church and state
- Status of religious freedom by country