I have tremendous disdain for the term "tolerance" when used to describe social, political, or religious attitudes.
I think what most folks who use this term are REALLY meaning to say is "permissiveness".
I think that the more pernicious users of this term mean is that they want to force people to accept things they find unacceptable.
In engineering parlance, "tolerance" is "the permissible limit or limits of variation in a physical dimension". I believe that since many of the people using this term are in fact "social engineers" we need to examine exactly what it is that is being suggested when folks promote "tolerance" in a social setting.
If we use the engineering definition (which only makes sense, considering the word is being used by a kind of engineers--Social Engineers) then what "tolerance" means is NOT that people should be more open-minded, or should just live and let live. What they REALLY
mean is that SOMEONE--some self-appointed "designer" or "social architect" has a set of acceptable specifications for behavior, and that "tolerance" is ONLY the behavior that falls within those prescribed specifications.
Any behavior that falls outside those prescribed specifications is described as "intolerant", and therefore unacceptable.
We need to be aware of the REAL meaning of the words we use. The
people who insert these words into the popular culture have spent GENERATIONS studying context, syntax, socio-psychological implications, and linguistic programming and response.
If we're ever going to liberate the hearts and minds of the people, we need to approach the use of language with the same science, precision, and intentional choice as those who would use language against freedom.
Words have meaning folks. Use them with care.
Don't buy into the lies.
"How many fingers am I holding up now, Winston?"
I DO know the meaning of the word tolerance in engineering terms as I am an engineer with 37 years of experience. But tolerance also means: "willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs and practices of others" That is straight from the dictionary and I feel that it is very appropriate in regards to the subject matter.
You didn't call me stupid but you said people need to know the meanings of the words they use. Thank you very much! You have given a perfect example of what my post is about. You definately implied that not only did I use the wrong word, but I didn't know the meaning of the word "tolerance."
The same word can have different meanings and that is why English is hard to learn for those choosing to learn our language. I think we should also be certain of what we are saying, before flaming someone, such as looking "tolerance" up in the dictionary before saying others don't know the meaning of the word.