The Hardest Part About Intolerance is Intolerance


Today’s heading, said by a friend, is a memorable quote for me from February. I find coping with intolerance difficult. If I orally attack an action or speech I hear as intolerable  am I not instantly being intolerant?  I become what I don’t like. I become intolerant.

How can we be sensitive to the needs of others while keeping ours and their prejudices at bay? How do we practice morality and avoid moralism?

Here is a Thomas Moore quote from his book A Religion of One’s Own.

“Moralism is a defense against morality, its opposite. Morality means acting in ways that are sensitive to the needs of the other and of the world that is in our care. Moralism is the assumption that you know what is the right behavior for everyone and that it can be itemized in a list of right and wrong that everyone should follow.”

Why do we need a defense against morality? Did Moore get it wrong? Should it not be the reverse, morality as a defense against moralism?

10 thoughts on “The Hardest Part About Intolerance is Intolerance

  1. neonwalrus March 15, 2014 / 9:06 am

    And me? I am violently opposed to violence.

    • fictionfitz March 15, 2014 / 9:37 am

      I will not be traveling south any time soon.

      • neonwalrus March 15, 2014 / 9:38 am

        ’cause you’re snowed in?

      • fictionfitz March 15, 2014 / 9:46 am

        Snow is removed from consideration, but not yet removed.

  2. Carole Webber March 15, 2014 / 9:58 am

    It is easy to adopt moralism. It is harder to practice morality
    Morality sets the pattern for good behavior. , good example does more than condemnation

    • fictionfitz March 15, 2014 / 10:01 am

      A life you reflect

  3. Gede Prama March 15, 2014 / 12:02 pm

    Very interested, Have a wonderful day friend 🙂

    • fictionfitz March 15, 2014 / 1:22 pm

      Thanks Gede, and to you as well.

  4. Jack Saunsea March 16, 2014 / 2:54 am

    Excellent questions and thought-inspiring.

    I think that the problem with morality or moralism is that everyone is the judge and authority who determines what it means to live morally. From a sociologist point of view, societies strongly attempt to create a unified code of morality that differs from culture to culture and individual to individual. Most terrorists from any nation or religion believe (I presume) that they are committing their actions of destruction for moral reasons.

    How can we practice morality and avoid moralism? I think, by being completely genuine and sincere with ourselves and others. By not doing what we do because we feel like we should or ought to or are commanded to do so. Because that’s like telling someone you love them because somebody else told you should, which isn’t really love at all.

    • fictionfitz March 16, 2014 / 5:41 am

      Well said Jack, this learning of ourselves is a challenge. Community helps, but my introverted side says so does time alone.

Comments are closed.