Friday, February 10, 2017

Tolerance, Privilege and Security

This Simon Jenkins article from The Guardian, "So you think reason guides your politics? Think again," has been in my blog draft file since I first read it almost three years ago.  I'm aware Jenkins' piece is political in nature. However, I've gone back to read it again and again. Each time, setting aside the article's political bent, I zero in on particular statements that intrigue me. Here's one:

"Reason is ... a weapon we deploy to persuade others that we are right, and they use to prove us wrong. It is not a coming together but a driving apart."  

  It occurs to me that our survival may depend upon our talking to one another.
~Dan Simmon

The statement I found most provocative is, "[T]olerance is itself a privilege of security. Intellectually it is appeasement." Online there are more than 520 comments about Jenkins' article and the one receiving the most opprobrium is the one just quoted. 

I've never been homeless, have never gone without sustenance, have never experienced intentional physical or emotional harm. I consider myself a fairly tolerant person ... you live your life, let me live mine ... and yet admit tolerance on any level is likely much easier when one has good health, a comfortable home, and food in the fridge. 

When you don't know what you're talking about,
it's hard to know when you're finished. 
~ Tommy Smothers

Ah well, as my brother said when he was four years old, "I have a lot of thinks in my head."