On Tolerance And Judging

All Men Are Created Equal, All Beliefs Are Not.

 

Judge Not?

It seems that there is a rather commonly held principle among many today that we should not “judge” each other, and that we should always be “tolerant” and “accepting” of others.  This sentiment is especially pervasive among the bleeding-heart leftist crowd, who are constantly pushing for the notion that we all must be non-judgmental, tolerant, accepting, politically correct, and culturally sensitive, all while embracing multi-culturalism, diversity, and cultural relativism—practically unconditionally—in the name of sensitivity, fairness, understanding, and non-offensiveness—that is unless of course you are a conservative.

Yet it is not just those on the left who believe this nonsense without question.  The left has been so successful in pushing this dogmatic brainwashing of “tolerance”, that many normal everyday people accept this idea as truth without question.  The left has also succeeded at labeling anyone who dares question the prudence of this belief as racist, sexist, homophobic, intolerant, xenophobic, or any other attack label of their choosing that fits.

To appeal to certain peoples religious sensibilities, the bible verse “judge not lest ye be judged” is often thrown about, as if to somehow validate this flawed notion of unconditional tolerance.  Now I am no bible scholar, and I am far from religious, so I am not here to argue the meaning or significance of this passage.  I am however here to argue that this notion is extremely flawed thinking, regardless of the motivations behind it, and can be a foolish and dangerous way to view and interact with people and ideas.

It Is Wrong To Judge Based On Things Beyond Control

Let me first begin by saying that I am in no way condoning the judgment of someone based on characteristics, traits, or circumstances that are beyond a person’s control.  In case this is not perfectly clear, I am saying that it is not right to judge someone simply based on race, ethnicity, sexual preference, physical looks, deformities, disabilities, or any other things which a person can’t help.  I do not condone racism, or any kind of prejudice based solely on qualities which a man has no control over. The left plays identity- politics, constantly breaking everyone down into various “victimized” groups, categories, and blocs, I do not. I firmly believe that people should be viewed solely as individuals, and not as members of a voting bloc. I try very hard to live by this, and while no one is perfect, I certainly try my best.

I am also not condoning a person to be overly judgmental, petty, or frivolous, on matters that are of little significance.

Character Counts And Beliefs Matter  

What I am saying however, is that it is perfectly alright and justified to measure or judge someone based on their actions, character, values, virtues, or belief system. There is nothing wrong with having a standard of personal values and virtues, and measuring others accordingly; nor is there anything wrong with doing the same on a social or cultural level. One does not automatically need to accept without question the progressive values of moral and cultural relativism. It is ok to draw a proverbial line in the sand, and affirm “this I will defend”.

Just because it sounds nice in politically-correct fairy tale land, does not mean that you must be blindly accepting and tolerant of any and all people and belief systems. Blind tolerance and acceptance of anyone and anything is foolish, naïve, and dangerous. It is prudent and intelligent to think critically about another person’s character, beliefs, virtue, or motives, before accepting that person with open arms. It is also perfectly acceptable to draw conclusions about a person based on their actions and behavior, conclusions which can then later govern how potential future interactions with that person are conducted.  Finally, it is also acceptable to use ones own beliefs, character, and behavior as a standard or measuring rod with which to compare others.

A man can and should be held to account for his actions, character, and belief system, and therefore judging someone based on these things is in fact fair game. Personal responsibility matters.

Now obviously the judgment and criticism of another’s beliefs or actions can be quite relative—in the sense of a spectrum—and therefore requires sound personal judgment, reasonableness, critical thinking, and maturity.  There is quite a big difference between two men with differing opinions on a favorite movie, or say a gentleman’s disagreement over a particular political issue, than there is with blindly tolerating and accepting someone whose entire belief system or actions are inherently wrong, dangerous, criminal, imposing, or which blatantly contradict your own.

This is where sound personal judgment comes into play, to assess the difference between what should constitute “agreeing to disagree” over minor issues, versus outright condemnation of toxic beliefs or behaviors.  This assessment is a highly personal decision, and like I stated above, ones own character may be used as a measuring rod in the process.

Using societal, cultural, and systemic values as a measuring rod is a bit trickier, because all too often the values reflected in these things are in fact contributing to the problem, and are actually quite toxic and inherently dangerous themselves. Where once these kinds of social and cultural measuring rods were strong, they have since been watered down by the forces of progressivism and cultural-Marxism.  Therefore, these common cultural norms and values often times promote or tolerate the very kinds of dangerous beliefs and ideas that in reality should actually be condemned.

Therefore, it is often best to use ones own beliefs and values as a guide, and to stand up to the toxic beliefs, values, and ideologies that our post-modern progressive society often promotes.  Just because one was indoctrinated by systemic political-correctness and tolerance to be blindly accepting of all beliefs without question, does not always mean that you actually should be.

Dangerous And Immoral Beliefs Do Not Require Tolerance   

There is especially nothing wrong with judging and condemning those who possess dangerous, criminal, violent, or immoral beliefs, or beliefs which directly conflict with your own personal core values and principles.  Using your own moral compass, or widely agreed upon societal norms, values, and laws, to judge or gauge another person is not wrong.  In fact, our entire legal system is based on this philosophy.

It is also most certainly justified to judge or resist anyone who seeks to forcefully impose their contrary beliefs upon you, or seeks to deprive you of your rights and freedoms through the imposition of their beliefs.  One should not push their views or lifestyle upon others unsolicited, nor should they tolerate anyone who attempts to do the same.

Victory Through Ideas

As a Libertarian, I do not believe, as many leftists do, that those with opposing political beliefs must be silenced by threats, slander, blackmail, boycotts, or violence.  I also do not believe in the discrimination of a person based solely on their beliefs, unless for some reason those beliefs rise to the level of severe contemptibility.

I do however believe that in a free society, those with dangerous or immoral beliefs should be mercilessly destroyed in the arena of public debate, discourse, and opinion.  If such debate can be conducted civilly and maturely, great, but in the end a man should not remain passive and quiet in the face of beliefs he finds abhorrent simply in the name of politeness, tolerance, and not being judgmental, especially if others are seeking to forcefully impose their beliefs upon him.  It is ok to stand up for ones own beliefs.

In the end, a man should not have to placate another when confronted with offensive beliefs, just because he has been “taught” to be polite and tolerant.  He must understand, against all previous cultural conditioning, that it is ok to stand up for what you believe in, to defend what you believe in, and to question and be critical of others values, beliefs, and character.

Is there ultimately and historically a place for violence and war for the destruction of dangerous beliefs, yes absolutely, but only in extreme cases and as an absolute last resort when no other method will do.  Some beliefs are so harmful, that violence is the only thing they recognize, and violence is the only way to destroy them.

Conclusion

For far too long, good men have remained silent in the face of opposition, allowing dangerous and corrupting ideas, policies, and people to permeate our society and world, just because they were just being polite and tolerant. Now generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with having a “live and let live” attitude toward most things, but when someone tries to forcefully push their beliefs upon you, or their beliefs come into direct conflict with your own, and especially if their beliefs are evil and wrong, don’t continue to think that you must be tolerant and accepting of them.

Revised 1-11-15

© 2014 by AB Frank, All Rights Reserved

Read More: Progressives: Enemies Of Free Speech

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