Uber-tolerance?

In my early and mid twenties, having come from a conservative Christian background, there were times I envied the idea of uber-tolerance, “You can believe in anything–as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone–and go to Heaven.”

A quick look at the idea of uber-tolerance will immediately illuminate a self-detonating problem: uber-tolerance doesn’t tolerate everything.  It isn’t really uber.

If I look more closely at what those who make this claim believe, I see that uber-tolerance actually says, “You can believe in anything–as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone–and go to Heaven.”

That clause is fundamental.

It opens a whole can of monkeys.

What is hurting?  Who is anyone?  Who defines what these words mean?

If these words are defined individually by everyone, then they don’t really mean anything.  Everyone makes up their own reality, in which case everything is really fantasy.  One definition can be no more or less right than another.

If these words are defined by a particular group or society, then their meaning is positional.  That is, if I’m in England in the 18th century, they mean something different than if I’m in England today.  Or, if I’m in Brazil, they mean something different than if I’m in Greenland.  The words don’t really mean anything.  The significance isn’t on the words, but on the particular group who defines them.

If these words are defined by an absolute (authoritative) source of morality, the question is what is the morality?  What absolute authority is making the claim?  And if an absolute authority is making the claim . . then doesn’t everyone actually have to follow that absolute authority, which means you really can’t do anything you want?

Uber-tolerance is uber-fake.  Walk into an allegedly pro-everything congregation and wear a shirt that says I LOVE KILLING ENDANGERED WHALES and the pro-everything hoax is exposed.

That’s a silly example, but it’s not the only example.

  • Through an alleged uber-tolerance, members must exclude those who do not have the same tolerance levels.  For example, anyone who is pro-the-absolute-authority-of-the-Bible is certainly NOT tolerated.
  • But on the other hand, because the uber-tolerance is not actually all-inclusive, members must exclude those who take their idea to its logical conclusion.  For example, anyone who is pro-stealing-wallets is certainly NOT tolerated, either.

Uber-tolerance is only a name, it is not an actual idea.  If the group were honest, they would call themselves by what they truly believe, not what they claim to believe.  They might be pro-endangered-animals, pro-choice, pro-redefining-marriage, but they are NOT the opposites of these things at the same time.

Uber-tolerance doesn’t solve the problem of making an eternal choice.  You can’t go through two doors at the same time.  Ultimately, you must choose which door to walk through.  Since the consequences are eternal, the issue bears a lot of thought . . instead of a denial that the choice must be made.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Jesus, quoted in Matthew 7:13-14, NIV)

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