Tolerance is a virtue that’s mostly perceived as a crucially important brick in order to build a healthy and peaceful society. In a way, tolerance has turned into a mark that embodies the historical progress humanity has made over the years. But here’s a question—is tolerance supposed to have limits?
In 1945, a philosopher named Karl Popper introduced a concept that he called the paradox of tolerance. “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance,” he wrote. “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” In other words, if society is tolerant without any limits, the intolerant people will eventually destroy it. “We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant,” Karl Popper wrote.
Today’s story is closely related to this concept. A Twitter user named @IamRageSparkle recently shared a story about his encounter with a bartender who noticed a customer wearing nazi symbols on his clothes and kicked him out of the bar. This story once again shows us how important it is to try to see people’s true intentions and never tolerate the act of being cruel and those who choose to support awful things.