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Liberals and Tolerance

Posted By: Stephen Downes on October 1, 2002
 
This is an old, tired argument that takes as its initial premise the supposition that, since liberals tolerate everything, they must therefore tolerate things that lead to things like the September 11 attack, and hence, that liberalism is wrong. It is, of course, a complete misrepresentation of liberalism. Indeed, liberalism is the point of view that extreme acts intended to impose one's religious or political point of view - such as the September 11 attack - are exactly what we don't want. Nor either do liberals want similar sorts of dogmatism enacted as state policy or other mechanations designed to force consent to a particular dogma or creed. Liberals, by their tolerance, are not bound in any way to include acts of intolerance under their protective cloak, and arguments that begin with the assumption otherwise are nothing more than ill-founded name-calling. - Stephen Downes
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 Liberals and Tolerance by Stephen Downes on October 1, 2002
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