Thursday, December 16, 2010

The New Tolerance is so intolerant

Josh McDowel points out in his book 'The New Tolerance' written back 1998 that "the new tolerance goes far beyond the traditional definition of the word." Websters dictionary defined tolerance as "to recognise and respect [ others' beliefs, practices etc ] without sharing them," and to bear or put up with [ someone or something not especially liked]. pg16.

The New Tolerance "is that every individuals beliefs, values, lifestyle, and perception of truth claims are equal .. There is no hierarchy of truth. Your beliefs and my beliefs are equal, and all truth is relative." pg 19.

What has happened is that all values and beliefs have been elevated to a position worthy of equal respect."

Now let's ponder on this for a moment? Is the fellow who advocates paedophilia [ eg the organisation of Nambla promotes this ] one we would suggest is worthy of holding a position we should respect? What about advocates of bestiality? There was a movie about this number of years ago, where a woman engaged to be married had sex with her dog, and finally informs her fiancee of this. The man breaks off the engagement. One reviewer of the movie was condemnatory of the fact the fellow broke off the engagement rather than the fact she had committed bestiality!

How far and wide has this notion of new tolerance drifted in our Western culture? And why has it been so uncritically accepted? Consider this - what is the worldview of this ethical system that elevates this notion of equality of all beliefs as demanding of respect and worthiness?

Just last year, Time Magazine September 20, 2010 in their Inbox section had two writers mentioning tolerance when speaking about the previous editions 'Is America Islamophobic? The first mentioned 'But tolerance is what religions have preached for years, Islam included. Again are we ready to persecute the majority for the behaviour of the few.'

This confuses speaking out against the teachings of Islam which justify terrorist activity as being a persecution of all Muslims. And that is a big logical leap. No one consider it seems that a motive for speaking out is from love for the Muslim that is living according to an erroneous worldview and in rebellion against the living God.

The other wrote 'however the article failed to highlight the contrast between the attitudes prevalent in the U.S and the tolerance enshrined within the Constitution and Bill of rights.'

What he was suggesting is that there was inconsistency with the tolerance put forth by the bill of Rights, but then we need to ask, what kind of tolerance is enshrined there? We would not be surprised if the modus operandi of such comments were really prefaced on a 'New tolerance' as defined above would we?

These are just two of many media statements you are likely to hear commonly raised which refer to the need for "tolerance".

So how will a Christian respond in such a situation?

In regard to such statements we must ask whether tolerance is the loving thing to do. ( something Josh McDowell has pointed out a number of times ).

Consider this. Have all religions preached tolerance in the sense of it's new definition? Just take Christianity and Islam as an example. Are all their beliefs equal? What does that mean? For starters, Christianity claims Christ to be God, not a mere prophet as Islam believes ( of lesser status even than Mohammad in Islam ), and Christianity claims that Jesus is the only way back into right relationship with God the Father. Which Islam out rightly rejects. Right there we have a contradiction in beliefs, they are contrary to each other. That Jesus is the only way to God is either true or false. If you want to rejoin that there's no hierarchy of truth, indeed that all truth is relative then a consequence of that is that anything goes. And beliefs lead to actions, whether they be terrorism, or adultery or Bestiality etc but if all Truth is relative then who are you to object to what anyone else does.

I want you to feel the implication of that worldview. You have no right to protest injustice or unkindness or bullying or whatever. Living that way and you will soon be as mad and in despair as Nietzsche, or the Marquis de Sade.

I won't even bother to follow up the nonsense of the relativist view in that I find it truly self defeating. Just ask, what is the truth status of the claim that 'all truth is relative.'? Let's just for the moment let Alice chase that rabbit down the rabbit hole into wonderland and stick with how can I treat my neighbor fairly and how can he treat me likewise? Where is Tolerance really going to meeting the demands of doing the loving thing?

And that brings us to another aspect of this new tolerance. It is that it is firmly rooted in the worldview of postmodernism. Where there is no metanarrative, no such thing as The Truth, only instead a multiplicity of narratives, ( or if you prefer, multiplicity of worldviews ). However, as I pointed out years ago and has been aptly argued by William C. Craig, so called postmodernism is nonsense, it is only modernism with a fresh coat of paint and is in practice only raised in relation to ethics and religion!

What we can conclude is that the New Tolerance is no tolerance at all!

In Christ