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A definition essay on Tolerance - Research Paper Example

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Tolerance is perceived to be a virtue of a progressive or civilized age. The virtue is intended to prepare people to put up with those who have opposing opinions in life matters.Tolerance enables people to view matters through the other’s perspective…
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A definition essay on Tolerance
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Download file to see previous pages In the early days, differences in politics, religion and opinions led to persecution. Many were burned to death with communities being annihilated in the name of God. Self-conceit, narrowness and bigotry led to intolerance. Intolerance is a result of a belief that only one attitude is right. According to the Webster dictionary, tolerance is the act of enduring the actions of objecting persons or offensive opinions. It also defines tolerance as the capacity to respect or recognize opposing beliefs. The meaning is used to cause people to accept other people’s opinions despite their religious beliefs, race and creed (Miller, 2006). The meaning of tolerance has both positive and negative connotations. The positive connotation means unprejudiced and equitable. The negative connotation means putting up with others even when it is disadvantageous. Therefore, tolerance is the prerogative of humanity. This is built of the premise that all human beings are weak and erroneous. As a result, there is need to put up with contrasting opinions. This is a first law of nature. According to philosopher Voltaire, leans on the positive meaning of tolerance. The sentiments hail from the civil rights movement in the United States and the annihilation of the Jewish people (Miller, 2006). This definition of tolerance suggests that children should be taught to reject intolerance from an early age. A telling example is the stance taken by the preacher and campaigner Martin Luther K. Jr during the social human rights lobby group. The renowned activist advocated for fairness and taught that love and acceptance makes the society strong and progressive. According to Dr. Martin Luther, embracing differences brings a sense of unity (Raatma, 2005). According to Mondras Gandhi, intolerance is an enemy to understanding. There is a belief that mere tolerance is not enough. Tolerance is not necessarily accepting other people’s opinions. It is been argued that tolerance should be a temporally attitude. According to the Indian pacifists, intolerance is the refusal to accept truths about others. Tolerance is a result of intention and conviction. Tolerance moves beyond merely putting up with different opinions. People have the potential to live together, while disliking each other secretly. In this context, tolerance is seen to be a mask or disguise. Tolerance is also seen as a form of offense (Mars, 2008). To tolerate is to offend. Johann Von, a German poet stated that tolerance has more negative than positive connotation. This could mean that to tolerate others is to show a disapproval of their position of fundamental issues or ethnicity. The synonym of tolerance is toleration, exemption, permission and acceptance. However, the term is increasingly being viewed as interchangeable with non-prejudice and open mindedness. Therefore, tolerance is viewed to be a vital aspect in the society. Hate, dissention and resentment can easily result to intolerance. Intolerance can lead to alienation and prejudice. Mere tolerance falls short of acceptance (Oberdiek, 2001). A good example is speech competition where contestants are forced by the environment to interact with opponents and were disguised civility. False faces tend to conceal false hearts according Shakespeare. This seems to emphasize the fact that merely tolerating other opinions means finding the persons unacceptable. Studies show that ignorance is the root of intolerance. Therefore, exposure and studying of different cultures is crucial in enhancing tolerance (Raatma, 2005). Research shows that people tend to hate what they fail to understand. Therefore, it is important to place emphasis of the shared values as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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