PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Rikky_Sellis
 
Comments: 36
Article views: 769
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Rikky_Sellis's badges.
 

Tolerance vs. Acceptance

19 September 2013, 10:09

Tolerance is probably one of the values that enjoy the most universal eminence and popularity, even more so than kindness. We are taught this in schools, churches, PR campaigns, psychologists’, offices, sporting events and almost any other public institution we can think of. We South-Africans are especially familiar with this term and are likely to be who have the most experience with it too, though reasonable doubt may be cast as to whether we are the best at it. We can say the same for acceptance only this time the doubt seems to be much less, if not absent. This article casts some light on these two values.  

The first question I ask myself is ‘is there a difference between tolerance and acceptance?’ They seem similar in most respects and may even have peculiar consequences if they aren’t synonymous. My intuition tells me are they aren’t. Consider the statements: ‘I accept tolerance’ and ‘I tolerate acceptance’. They seem to conjure very different ideas.

Tolerance for me, as in most disciplines in the natural sciences such as medicine and engineering, regards that which is tolerated as some kind of threat to the integrity of the host or structure respectively; or at least as an outside force which is somehow different. Even in the social sciences, specifically politics and sociology, that which is tolerated is assumed to be different in fundamental respects from the one who is tolerating.

Let’s take an example. When a person - with regards to his values in relation to an outside action - is nonchalant about it, then the he or she is not tolerant but indifferent. When a person - with regards to his values in relation to an outside action - approves of it, then he or she is also not tolerant but accepting. I argue here that both indifference and acceptance do not mean tolerance, since they do not exact the difference or ‘outsiderness’ needed for it to occur.

As mentioned, acceptance seems at first glance synonymous with tolerance. Proponents defending this statement argue that differences or ‘outsiderness’ is not necessarily involved in tolerance; i.e. there needn’t be any incompatibility despite the awareness some kind of foreignness in relation to the tolerant and those actions they are tolerating. Therefore, according to these proponents, the different but accepted action neither warrants resentment nor some kind of suppression of resentment.

I argue however that what is absent from acceptance is what’s part and parcel of tolerance; exactly the attempt at suppressing resentment. Without such an attempt the widespread advocation for the value of tolerance would seem much less pressing, if not pointless. Therefore a sharp distinction between acceptance and tolerance is required in order to explain the reasons for tolerance’s advocation.

By highlighting what tolerance is not, a number of other problems come to the fore. If tolerating individuals are always in an outsider relation with those actions perceived to warrant tolerance, then it seems to follow that we should allow for people who are tolerant racists. These people resent the actions of other races, but in public they endure those actions by suppressing any averse reaction; for fear of being accused of hate speech/crime. This seems to be ok with people advocating tolerance instead of acceptance.

More importantly this problematic example illustrates how the value of tolerance may not serve as a solution to intolerance, but possibly as a political strategy to force intolerance to the private. On the other hand acceptance also doesn’t seem to be the solution, since we cannot expect everyone to accept the action of those into their own. Is there a middle ground here?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
36 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Pan
Happy Diwali to everyone!

Happy Diwali to you all! May you all enjoy this festival of Light surrounded by the love of your family & friends. May the next year light your lives with Love. Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Kagisho Montjane
ZCC: Advocate for Zionism, figura...

It is inconceivable currently in South Africa to think of leaders of character and not mention the right Reverend Bishop, Dr BE Lekganyane. Read more...

0 comments 103 views
Submitted by
ohomen171
Kenya: Splitting hairs

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga deepened the country’s ongoing political crisis with the surprise announcement that he’s backing out of the nation’s do-over presidential elections. Read more...

0 comments 443 views
Submitted by
Louis van Schalkwyk
Springboks' November tour: no eas...

Being a Springbok supporter is hard. The relationship ranges from the team being the distant cousin you don’t like to talk about to the shining beacon of light that drives our optimism. Read more...

0 comments 474 views
Submitted by
Solomon Mathebula
Is government able to hold offici...

It is the right and responsibility of the public to ensure that those who have committed misconduct in the public offices are dealt with decisively so as to account for their duty deeds. Read more...

0 comments 193 views
Submitted by
Vincent Matjila
They wanted to sacrifice me

That so-called bishop had hired people to monitor me and abuse me emotionally and verbally. Read more...

0 comments 317 views
 

services

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2017 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.