Ah! “Tolerance!” The most valued and highest held virtue of a relativist society. Now, there is nothing wrong with tolerance when properly understood. It is something that can be used for good, but in the relativist’s mind being “intolerant” means disagreeing with someone. Basically you shouldn’t strongly disagree with someone or you’re not a tolerant person. If I disagree with homosexual acts, I’m intolerant. If I think abortion is murder, I’m intolerant. Get the picture? Telling someone that they are intolerant because you do not agree with their worldview is one big ironic mess…. which is typical to the relativist ideology.
What is tolerance?
Like almost every virtue relativism touches it becomes a warped version of its true meaning. Tolerance in the true form is a variation of patience. “I will be a patient with your beliefs and respect that you have the right to express them.” When you throw in the modern version of tolerance you get the same thing as above but with the added, “Our beliefs are equal.” Not only that, but today we even see people being called intolerant because they won’t condone an immoral action. The problem with the relativist philosophy is that because nothing is true and everything is equal it has led to moral/religious/political ambiguity. This ambiguity strips the truth away and it is reduced to “what is true/right for me…”
Why Relativism is intolerant.
The removal of God or the commandments from the public sphere.
The fining of Christians who refuse to propagate homosexual lifestyle.
The constant attack on the Catholic physicians who refuse to perform abortions.
The attempts to force employers to pay for contraception.
These are all example of things relativism has attempted or successfully completed in doing. Now if the definition of tolerance is to be patient with another persons views and allow them to express them, the above examples are proof of relativism being intolerant. Forcing the removal of public expression of beliefs, and punishing people for disagreeing and not complying with things they view as immoral in itself is intolerant. Disagreeing and speaking out about your disagreement is not intolerance.
Now you may be asking, “Well what about when Christians try to pass laws against homosexual marriage or abortion? Isn’t that intolerant? First you would have to recognize what legislating a law means. Laws are legislation of morality. All law (at least in the free countries) are restraints to keep people from violating things that the society sees as immoral. Passing laws that ban abortion isn’t intolerance. It is an attempt by those who hold the objective view that abortion is murder. This is much different then forcing religious legislation. For example, forcing people to pray the rosary 5 times a day or attend church ever Sunday is intolerant and wrong. Forcing religion has been proven not to work and it is not genuine faith. But pushing for laws that are based off reason and natural law are not intolerant and shouldn’t be cast out just because such virtues may correspond with a particular faith.
In conclusion we see that tolerance has been warped from a state of being patient with others views, to a complete acceptance of behavior that is immoral to the objectivist. It leads to ambiguity on a religious/moral/political level and shows that relativism in its own practice is greatly intolerant when taken with the proper definition.