Tolerance Does Not (Necessarily) Equal Approval

Source: EconLog
by Kevin Corcoran

“Tolerance, we are told, is a virtue, and to be publicly labeled as an intolerant person is to walk around carrying a scarlet letter ‘I’ for the rest of your days. But what tolerance means, and what it requires, seems to be shifting. Originally, tolerance was meant in quite a literal way. To be tolerant of something was, well, just that. It simply meant that you tolerated it — you put up with it. You could dislike it, grumble about it, openly disapprove of it, and avoid it, but as long as you put up with it, you had fulfilled your obligation of tolerance. These days, however, the goal post has shifted. Tolerance is no longer a call to simply tolerate something. It now means something more like active approval and affirmation.” (09/19/22)