NOTE: This is one of the most important yet difficult posts in this series. I implore you, please, read it carefully as the distinction I am going to try to explain is at the heart of many of our society’s problems.
Tolerance is defined as ‘acceptance,’ but this is a perversion of the original meaning of tolerance. Tolerance is not the same as acceptance, but I fear that the majority of people in our society do not understand the difference. In fact, if all we look at is the modern dictionary, then we would most likely determine that I am wrong. Fortunately, we have more than the modern dictionary to show us how our PC culture has changed our language.
Let’s start with the modern definition of ‘tolerance:’
Full Definition of TOLERANCE
Next, let’s look at the definition of ‘acceptance:’
Full Definition of ACCEPTANCENOTE:
According to these two definitions, ‘tolerance’ generally means ‘acceptance.’ So, to ‘tolerate’ something means I ‘accept’ it. But this is not true. The definition of ‘tolerate’ has been changed, largely due to political correctness. All you need to do to prove this to yourself is ask yourself this simple question: would you ‘accept’ someone who thinks it is moral or permissible to rape? If you say no, then — by definition — you are not a ‘tolerant’ person: you are ‘intolerant’ — at least, this is what our culture wants us to believe. Before you reject that, look at the definitions. ‘Tolerance’ means to ‘accept,’ so to not ‘accept’ means you are not ‘tolerant.’ Therefore, simple logic says you must ‘accept’ rape or you are ‘intolerant.’ However, the definition of ‘tolerance’ was not always the one I just cited, and thanks to books, we can find the original meaning of the word:
From my personal copy of “The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology: The Origins of the American English Words:”
So we see, the word ‘tolerance’ was originally understood to mean ‘endure or allow.’ It was something that was permitted, but not necessarily accepted. If you go back to the first two definitions I listed for you, you will see that I bolded several parts of the definition of ‘tolerance.’ This shows that our modern understanding of the word still carries some of the original meaning: ‘an acceptable deviation from a set standard.’
Now, let me see if I can put a focus on the distinction between these two words. To accept something implies that we agree with it; that we have made ourselves a party to it. Thus, to ‘tolerate’ something means we ‘accept’ a certain deviation from the standard in question. If we go back to my question about rape, we can see how this applies in the real world. Rape is not ‘tolerated’ because it is an ‘unacceptable’ deviation from the set standard. Ah! But there is the key point (and the very reason the definition of ‘tolerance’ has been changed): the fact that so few of us would argue that rape should be tolerated proves that there are set standards. In this case, those standards are moral standards. But logic tells us a moral law — a universal law — can only be defined by a law-giver, and the only being that can possibly set the laws over the entire universe is the Creator (see my post on the origins of morality).
So, here’s the point: our PC culture has perverted the meaning of words to hide the fact that much of what it advocates violates the moral standards upon which our society was built. The entire PC agenda is a violation of Natural Law, so those people who push that agenda do everything they can to confuse and deceive people into ‘accepting’ that PC agenda — lest they be called ‘intolerant,’ or worse, ‘hater.’ But the truth is not in a word, as the PC advocate believes. The Truth is in the form and function of a thing. This is why Truth can never be hidden or destroyed, and — in this case – the Truth is that ‘tolerance’ means we ‘accept’ a certain amount of deviation from the set moral norm, but it does not mean we ‘accept’ any and all deviation. Society — as the collection of every individual in it — has the right — nay, the duty — to define what is and is not acceptable. And what is and is not acceptable has been eternally defined and made known to all. We call it Natural Law, and those who demand that we ‘accept’ their violations of this natural law should not be ‘tolerated!’ They have no place in nor should they be allowed claim to the rights and privileges afforded by a civil society.
[NOTE: If you read this whole post and were not convinced that there are people who think they can change society simply by changing the meaning of words, then you should look into the history of the Progressive movement in America — especially a man named John Dewey. He flat-out said he could change the way people think by manipulating the language. Whats more, if you are observant, you see it in play every day. We call it ‘SPIN!’]
4 thoughts on “DEFENDING THE LANGUAGE: Tolerance vs Acceptance”
How right you are. Language ist the most important of all cultural institutions. Man thinks through his language and those who control the language control the minds.
I have written this some time ago: