The Absolutising Of The Human Value Of Tolerance


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Probably 80 to 90% of people in modern Western countries in the late 1900’s and 2000’s believe strongly that there is no such thing as absolute rights and wrongs and absolute truth. But in an astounding example of hypocrisy, most of the same people have absolutised the human value of tolerance. In virtually every moral issue, they insist that tolerance of others is the overriding value by which such issues must be decided. They believe all other considerations must bow down to the “god of tolerance”.

Tolerance is an important human value. For example, it is wrong to be intolerant of other races. All races should be regarded as of equal value and importance.

But it is foolish to judge all ethical issues purely on the basis of tolerance. For example, it is wrong to be tolerant of rape, indecent assault, incest, gladiators, child prostitution, paedophilia, slavery, infanticide (the murdering of new-born children), cannibalism, human sacrifice and many other wicked unethical practices.

The last time the peoples of Britain, the U.S. and Europe absolutised the human value of “tolerance” occurred in the 1700’s and resulted in one of the worst moral collapses in history. The same moral collapse is occurring again now. In history, the human race often repeats its own mistakes.


Tolerance is not a value that overrides all other values


In an article in “The Australian” newspaper recently, a leader of the homosexual-lesbian political lobby said that homosexual and lesbian marriages should be accepted on the basis of the great Australian traditions of tolerance.

But note over the past two centuries, many Australians have been tolerant of many different good things, but they have also been tolerant of the evils of:


a)      wife bashing.

b)      taking Aboriginal children from their parents.


So tolerance is not some absolute value which overrides all other values and by which every issue of right and wrong can be determined.


God was pleased the Ephesians did not tolerate evil in others


In Revelation 2:2, one of the things about which the Lord Jesus praised the Church at Ephesus was: “…you cannot bear with those who are evil…” (N.K.J.V.). In Greek, the words “bear with” in the above verse is a form of the word “bastazo” which means “endure” [1] or “tolerate”. [2] In Revelation 2:2, the New American Standard Bible translates “bastazo” as “endure” and the New International Version as “tolerate”.

God commands us to love all people, even our enemies (see Matthew 22:39, Luke 6:27 and 6:35), to be forgiving to all those who hurt us (see Matthew 18:21-35 and Luke 6:38), to be kind to others (see Ephesians 4:32) and to be merciful to others (see Luke 6:36).

But then on the other hand, God commands us to “…hate evil, love good…” (see Amos 5:15), “Abhor what is evil” (see Romans 12:9) and to not tolerate evil people (see Revelation 2:2).

It is not wrong to be tolerant of the many different customs that different nationalities or other social groups have, as long as none of these customs are contrary to the commands and teachings of God’s written Word.

If we tolerate customs which oppose the commands and teachings of God’s Holy Scriptures, God will hold us accountable for this.


The foolishness of a present view of many anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists


At present, many anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists continually say that everyone must be tolerant of things like sado-masochistic sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, homosexual marriage, paedophilia, abortion for any reason, medical staff killing deformed children at birth and euthanasia, because there have been many people who have practiced these things throughout history and have believed they were right in doing these things. These anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists claim: “There are no absolute rights and wrongs. So the millions of people who practiced these things are just as ‘right’ as those who oppose these things. So both the practitioners and their opponents should tolerate each others’ ideas and behaviour about these matters.”

But the above claims have massive flaws:


a)      First, if we followed this foolish philosophy, we would have to say that because throughout history thousands or millions of people have practiced human sacrifice, cannibalism and cruel forms of slavery in which masters could rape their female or male slaves anytime they wished, this means that if people wish to practice these things again, we should be tolerant of these practices.

Similarly, this would mean we would have to be tolerant of incest, the Middle Ages practice of nobles having sex with all local men’s brides on their wedding days, the Roman practices of crucifying criminals on crosses, feeding thieves and other criminals to lions in the arena and gladiator-fighting.

This would be the logical result of following the absurd theory that there are no absolute rights and wrongs and we should be tolerant of all other people’s behaviour, no matter what it is.

b)      Secondly, the above philosophy has absolutised the value of tolerance. As stated before, this is so hypocritical when the holders of this philosophy like a bunch of galahs continually repeat, “There are no absolute rights or wrongs.”





[1] Bauer, page 137.

[2] Perschbacher, page 68.

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