Daniel Halliday
Nov 10 · Last update 4 days ago.
How can we nurture tolerance in societies and individuals?
We live in increasingly intolerant times, how can societies and/or individuals become more accepting, informed and non-judgemental in regards to minority groups, different political beliefs and divergent viewpoints?
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Go one step further and nurture acceptance
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Minimise corruption
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We must be tolerant while standing up against intolerance
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Go one step further and nurture acceptance

When talking and envisioning how to be more open and fair societies it is easy to fall into linguistic traps that can have an effect on the message and idea of what is being discussed, and whether this is being truly understood. This is often the cause with words like tolerance, which can be psychologically loaded terms that are accompanied with images of something that is uncomfortable or difficult to overcome. When considering being truly understanding of differences in society, be they concerning race, gender, sexuality, religion, even lifestyle; maybe acceptance is really the accurate term we are really trying to convey, however tolerance seems to be the more immediate choice uncomfortable choice.

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Minimise corruption

Intolerance thrives in environments that are riddled with corruption, when people are oppressed under the strain of corruption they often become more inclined to engage in corrupt behaviour themselves. This fire of an intolerant environment is often stoked by those individuals intent on distracting a population’s attention from their own corrupt behaviour, using common prejudices to scapegoat and blame defenceless targets, often further boosting society’s biases in the process. If we minimise corruption in society, trust in society’s structure and constitutions will be maximised, people will become more tolerant of all issues, as there will be less chance for problems to fester and unfair practices to continue or be perpetuated.

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We must be tolerant while standing up against intolerance

In 1945 Karl Popper addressed the paradox of tolerance in his book, The Open Society and Its Enemies. Popper wrote “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.” He also argued that in exercising the right of self-preservation a tolerant society should be intolerant of intolerance, not by suppression but through the countering of irrational intolerance with rational argument.

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