Intolerance: What are your thoughts about it?
For me, there are two core values – individual life, and individual liberty, in that order.
The value of life demands a respect for the lives of all others, and imposes a duty of care – within reasonable limits.
Liberty comes after that.
Liberty implies an ability to explore any infinity that doesn’t impose unreasonable existential threat to anyone else.
That must lead to exponential expanding diversity.
Tolerance is simply accepting that diversity, and giving up any right to impose anything on another except in defense of the lives or liberty of others.
Any threat to life or liberty is not something to be tolerated, but to be actively mitigated.
In the broadest strategic sense of this discussion there are probably two principles to explicitly add:
Freedom cannot exist in a social environment without responsibility toward the reasonably probable consequences of action on the society. In this sense, freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin in complex cooperative systems such as human beings.
The second idea is around responses to risk. There seem to be two major polarities in the sorts of response one can take. One is mitigation, by actively setting up systems to reduce the probability of the risk occurring. The other is resilience, developing competencies that allow one to recover quickly from unpredictable events.
Having just come through a major earthquake, I see both sets of strategies playing out at many different levels. It is clear that many of the social structures, bureaucratic and legal, are there to slow down change, and act as risk mitigation strategies in this deeper sense, to give the wider society a sense of security in uncertain times. That sense has to be balanced against the very real costs imposed by not being allowed to rapidly respond. And I see so many overlapping probabilities of risk and opportunity simultaneously present.
Much the same is present in the realm of free speech.
How far can one push at the boundaries of what particular cultural paradigms define as truth?
Not that long ago the ideas that the world was flat, and that the earth was at the center of the universe were accepted to the point that challenging them could get you burnt alive.
We may think that couldn’t possibly apply today, but it most certainly does.
Most of what seems most probably to be really at work as major influences in how our reality functions is simply not available to most people, and any attempt by me to express it in certain circles would likely end in my imprisonment and death (as I would be highly unlikely to survive on prison food).
So it is, as you correctly state, a very complex situation.
Freedom is never freedom from either responsibility or consequence, or responsibility for consequence in as much as reasonable causal influence can be established with reasonable probability.
A multicultural society is dependent on negotiation. If negotiation fails, then either tyranny or slavery are the only logical alternatives. Both seem to be increasing in frequency in different contexts.
We need the highest possible level of negotiation skills.
The core of negotiation is paying attention, listening, observing, and speaking our best approximation to truth (whatever truth might actually be).
To be able to do that, there must exist respect (for what is respect except the willingness to give attention to something).
The song “You’ll be back” from Hamilton comes to mind in a recursive sense – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic6wtXCxdEo
The essence seems to be a willingness to express what is true for us, in whatever form truth takes (from the probabilistic to the more binary); yet do so in a way that admits of the possibility of alternative constructs.
To be able to listen, there must exist the possibility of possibility.
That requires finding areas of boundaries that may be safely approached and crossed.
The more stressed individuals become, the more their subconscious systems reduce the possibilities present (a sensible response to focus decision making when facing a sabre toothed cat, not so sensible in a modern complex cultural, legal, bureaucratic, ethical and conceptual context). One of the many evolved systems of our embodied cognition that do not serve us well in our modern context. And it is only one of a whole ecosystem of such things.