Definitions Part II

Yesterday's article was about computer, and I realize that it is probably too late to change the common usage of the term "hackers" to "crackers", but if we try who knows. But enough said about computers.

The real focus of this article is with regard to the term "tolerance". Now by definition (once again courtesy of Apple) we get: "1 the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behaviour that one does not necessarily agree with : the tolerance of corruption | an advocate of religious tolerance." For the root term Tolerate we get "allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference : a regime unwilling to tolerate dissent. • accept or endure (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance : how was it that she could tolerate such noise?"

Now both of these definition point toward enduring, or putting up with something, which makes me wonder why politicians, religious leaders, the media, and many many others continue to use this term when speaking of things such as gay rights; other religions, cultures, societies, practises, etc. So if anybody says something like "I/We should all tolerate …" then anybody who can use a dictionary should be able to tell that what they're really saying is something like "I/We really consider these people to be wrong but we'll put up a facade to make it look like we are supporting them in hopes that nobody will notice. So how can we make it look like we're helping them, and how can I/we look like the good guy at the same time?"

Now I don't know about you, but that sounds like one hell of a lousy attitude to take / put forth. In fact let's assume that this mystery person is an elected official. If you voted for this person, and then based on the above paragraph found out that they tolerate something that you believe very strongly in, do you really think you'll be getting proper representation from this person? Come on now - be honest with yourself!

Now if we switch gears slightly, and change to the term acceptance we have a totally new definition: "agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation."

If we all accepted the fact that things such as gay rights; other religions, cultures, societies, practises, etc. we're alright and then went on with our lives wouldn't this world be a better place? After all if we did then the hypothetical person up above would be saying "I/We realize that people all over the world are different, and that they all have different opinions, backgrounds. I understand this, now let's get on with solving the problem at hand."

Personally I accept that there are people in this world who have different religions (in fact there are somewhere between 400 and 1000 depending on how you classify them), different sexual orientations (a good handful of those too), that come from different cultures (probably a few hundred of these as well), were raised under different societal structures (a few hundred more, although there will be a great deal of crossover with the cultures), their political ideology, their physical characteristics, and their individual practises as well. But are any of these really all that important?

Now can we please get along and solve the various problems this world of ours has?



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