Power of Tolerance

It’s funny that this week the topic to write about is Tolerance. This week and idea has been on my mind quiet recently.  I was sitting in Humanities Core lecture questioning why someone would name a Museum about the Jewish Holocaust, the Museum of Tolerance. I have never been to the museum, but this title did not make any sense to me. In my own mind, I understood tolerance to have negative connotation, something that you strongly dislike but you have to deal with. After reflecting on the concept of tolerance I now see that my definition is wrong and would be considered more of merely tolerating something.

 

“The early modern philosopher Spinoza thought tolerance the supreme virtue of a moral society, because without tolerance of difference (even on divisive points such as religion), freedom is impossible.”   

 

Spinoza was right. Tolerance is a supreme virtue. Having this form of tolerance, the kind of tolerance that is a supreme virtue, means that you are not just tolerating, because the law requires you to and you actually internally feel disgust and anguish when you encounter people who differ from your beliefs. Having true tolerance means respecting the lifestyle of others, being able to cohabit peacefully and have the ability to befriend those with different qualities even when it is as radical as different religions.

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