Fish on "Tolerance"
conlawprof at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 4 08:49:19 PST 2002
We have had a number of discussions on the meaning of
"tolerance" and its role in shedding light on various
law and religion controversies. Although I am not a
big fan of Stanley Fish, he often has valuable
insights on the use and misuse of the concept of
tolerance, and I recently came across another good
one. It is from Stanley Fish, The Trouble With
Principle, at 201:
"Whether the focus is Locke or Nagle or Conkle or
Thiemann or Gutmann and Thompson--philosophers,
theorists, liberals, conservatives--what it discovers
is always the same. Someone sets out to resolve the
problem presented to a would-be regime of tolerance,
or higher order impartiality, or openness of mind, or
mutual respect, by views that are manifestly
intolerant, have no truck with impartiality, and
accord respect largely to those who already agree with
them; and invariably the solution that emerges is a
mirror version of the problem it claims to address.
Tolerance is defined in a way that renders the
troubling views unworthy to receive it; openness of
mind turns out to be closed to any form of thought not
committed to its hegemony; and mutual respect is less
a formula for ecumenical generosity than the cant
phrase of a self-selected little club of right-mimded
Wow! Good stuff.
Cheers, Rick Duncan
"Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm."
--President George W. Bush (quoting John Page)
"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle things are gone." -C.S. Lewis
Do You Yahoo!?
Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
More information about the Religionlaw