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Do you understand the difference between the words tolerance and acceptance / intolerance and unacceptance?

I am finding and having a feeling that many use these two words interchangeably. They are two very different words and I get the feeling more people who cry tolerance are really crying acceptance.
When Jesus was on the earth... He was not tolerant of sin but accepted the person as who they are. I believe this is where the confusion lies when we speak of tolerance and acceptance. When responding, please keep it civil! Thanks :-)

Answer Question

Asked by Shaneagle777 at 1:04 PM on Sep. 24, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 26 (26,617 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • In order to tolerate, there has to be some level of acceptance. Like say someone that isn't of your faith tolerates that you believe in something else- therefore they are accepting that another belief exists other than their own.


    Answer by IhartU at 1:15 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • definition for tolerance a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own;

    Acceptance is when a person agrees to experience a situation, to follow a process or condition (Religions and psychological treatments often suggest the path of acceptance when a situation is both disliked and unchangeable

    the two are intertwined

    Answer by older at 1:33 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • TOLERANCE: . a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own.

     ACCEPTANCE: the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable

    The two words can and do go hand in hand. You cannot tolerate what you don't accept, on SOME level. You state they are two VERY different words, when really they are not.


    Answer by sahmamax2 at 1:47 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • The answer depends on your perspective. Both words are dangerous when applied to another person because they imply a position of power, even if none actually exists. Two random strangers standing side by side, they are equals. One is wearing a gay pride shirt, the other is wearing a Jesus shirt. The one in the Jesus shirt takes it upon themselves to either "tolerate" or "accept" the one in the gay pride shirt, as if anyone asked them. They assume they have a position of power where they are allowed to tolerate or accept whether the other person should be allowed to exist, or allowed to leave their home without hiding their identity.

    Aside from that, the definition being used here for tolerance is biased. To tolerate:
    : to endure or resist the action of without serious side effects or discomfort : exhibit physiological tolerance for
    a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:01 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction
    b : to put up with

    There is no acceptance implied in tolerance. When people are told nobody is being forced to accept thing, but that they must tolerate them, that is exactly the distinction that must be kept in mind. You do not have to enter into a gay marriage or convert to another religion. You do not have to agree with someone else's political views. You are not required to accept them. You are, however, required to tolerate them, because if you don't, other people have just as much right to stifle your own belief system and sense of self. Nobody has the power to dictate another person's life.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:03 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Well said NotPanicking! That I understand and it makes sense.

    Comment by Shaneagle777 (original poster) at 2:42 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • A person can be tolerant, and accepting ~ and they still have a right to believe (and say so when questioned) that their path is right. If they didn't believe it was right, there wouldn't be much use in walking that path.

    To me, just saying that someone else 'may' be right goes against what I believe ~ but that doesn't mean that others can't choose something different or that they are actually wrong. The entire argument is ridiculous.

    If what someone else believes, or says, takes away anything from what 'you' believe than the problem is with your own belief and/or insecurities.

    The only 'tolerance' that is necessary is not using violence to prove you're right.

    Spending every day of your life trying to make someone else's 'god' go away is pretty much a waste of 'your' own life ~ and honestly makes me question 'your' sanity. If a 'god' doesn't exist, how on earth can you make it go away?


    Answer by Farmlady09 at 3:10 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Keep it civil. Then, I guess, I'd better leave.

    Answer by witchqueen at 3:12 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Personally, I don't think many people do. People seem to think that in order to tolerate something we have to accept it. This is far from the truth. You don't have to agree with something to tolerate it... Although there IS a correlation between tolerance and acceptance and that is to tolerate something we have to accept that others have the right to do/say/believe it and that we aren't going to change it. For example: People don't have to accept the beliefs of others as "right" to accept that those who follow them have the right to follow them, that those beliefs aren't going to change simply because they don't like them and that those who follow them deserve the same freedom of beliefs and lifestyle as they themselves would want... THAT is tolerance! It's simply the accepting of the fact that others have and deserve the right to their beliefs and lifestyle regardless of your beliefs...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 3:31 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • Well said NP & Sabrina!

    Answer by parrishsky at 4:34 PM on Sep. 24, 2010

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