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The Intolerance of Tolerance de D. A. Carson

The Intolerance of Tolerance (edição: 2013)

de D. A. Carson (Autor)

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4871638,370 (4.35)5
Marc Royce works for the State Department on special assignments, most of them rather routine, until two CIA operatives go missing in Iraq--kidnapped by Taliban forces bent on generating chaos in the region. Two others also drop out of sight--a high-placed Iraqi civilian and an American woman providing humanitarian aid. Are the disappearances linked? Rumors circulate in a whirl of misinformation. Marc must unravel the truth in a covert operation requiring utmost secrecy--from both the Americans and the insurgents. But even more secret than the undercover operation is the underground dialogue taking place between sworn enemies. Will the ultimate Reconciler between ancient enemies, current foes, and fanatical religious factions be heard?… (mais)
Título:The Intolerance of Tolerance
Autores:D. A. Carson (Autor)
Informação:Eerdmans (2013), Edition: Reprint, 196 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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The Intolerance of Tolerance de D. A. Carson


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LibraryThing notes on The Intolerance of Tolerance, D. A. Carson, Eerdmans, 2012, read 11/17-12/7/19
Recommended by Karen Hall

Theme: see title; the old tolerance assumes a Christian worldview which allows different perspectives to be held and expressed, while the new assumes a humanist (Christless) worldview which does not allow other perspectives to be expressed
Type: nonfiction, philosophy, sociological critique
Value: 1-
Age: college
Interest: 1-
Objectionable: a couple of typos

Chapter 1 Introduction: The Changing Face of Tolerance—the switch from old to new tolerance
1 …the expression “plausibility structure” was coined by sociologist Peter L. Berger. He uses it to refer to structures of thought widely and almost unquestioningly accepted throughout a particular culture… [These thought structures formerly were “Judeo-Christian/western,” now being replaced in the name of tolerance with pagan/secular/humanist/atheist.]
3 Even the computer-based dictionary Encarta includes in its [definition of “to tolerate”] “ACCEPTING EXISTENCE OF DIFFERENT VIEWS to recognize other people’s right to have different beliefs or practices without an attempt to suppress them. …When we turn to Encarta’s treatment of the corresponding noun “tolerance,” however, a subtle change appears: “ACCEPTANCE OF DIFFERENT VIEWS the accepting of the different views of other people, e.g., in religious and political matters, and fairness toward the people who hold these different views.” … This shift…is subtle in form, but massive in substance. … The new tolerance suggests that actually accepting another’s position mean believing that position to be true, at least as true as your own.
15 A defeater belief is a belief that defeats other beliefs—i.e., if you hold a defeater belief to be true (whether it is true of not is irrelevant), you cannot possibly hold certain other beliefs to be true…

19 Chapter 2 What Is Going on?—the Trojan horse of “tolerance,” switching Christianity out for Humanism
36 What is lacking, however, is a representative mix of intellectual and cultural positions; there is little diversity of thought. The media will display a deep and thoughtful commitment to ensuring they have a representative number of women on board, but these women—and men—will not hold representative views on abortion gun control, homosexuality, and the importance of religion in one’s life. Elijah

47 Chapter 3 Jottings on the History of Tolerance—the history
48 These jottings are not merely random observations on what took place in the past; rather, they illustrate that across the ages the best thinking on the subject, however diverse, displays a remarkable connection between one’s understanding of tolerance and one’s understanding of “natural law” or “public moral law” (or whatever it is called in various contexts). …
62 Of course, Locke, along with other thinkers of his time, was developing the metaphysical dualism of Renee Descartes. The realm of the subject (mind or soul) is private, invisible, and inaccessible; the realm of the object is “out there” and is observable in line with rational objective principles. In Locke’s adaptation, we must recognize that each individual is a unique union of these realms, forcing us to except the dualism of the external and political realm power and the internal religious realm of faith in which no coercion has any legitimate place. This dualism, this fundamental contrast between the objective public sphere and the subjective private sphere, has become one of the foundations of many contemporary notions of religious toleration and religious liberty.
65 …Christians have insisted that truth borne along by the Holy Spirit has the power to illuminate and convert, while state-imposed sanctions achieve, at best, external conformity but no regeneration.
66 …the distinction between church and state is intrinsic to the Scriptures that govern Christians. At the most basic level, we recall that the locus of God’s people in the OT, under the old covenant, was a nation, the nation of Israel, while the locus of God‘s people in the NT, under the new covenant, is not a nation, but the church – an international community of believers never entirely identified with any nation.
74 Regardless of the terminology, pragmatism now commonly eclipses both nature and religion as cultural authority.

79 Chapter 4 Worse Than Inconsistency—in application of tolerance
79-81 [another good summary of the two definitions of tolerance] The confusion of the two rather different meanings of “tolerance” – the older meaning according to which one disagreed with another’s stance but, within the matrix of a broader ethical vision, insisted the other had the right to express his or her views; and the newer meaning according to which one should not disagree with or disparage another’s views, very often with this “tolerance” being assumed to be the highest good – leads to many confusing discussions. We flip back-and-forth between the two uses of tolerance and fail to perceive that we have done so. What is worse, these two meanings of tolerance are not absolutely disjunctive: there is a nasty area of overlap that magnificently muddies the discussion.… Elijah
80 First, on some issues the right does want legal sanctions against practices it judges to be hugely damaging to society at large. For example, most on the right (and not a few on the left, for that matter) think that the law should prohibit third trimester abortions… ... it views the issues and questions as moral matters that deserve the discrimination of the state, including an appropriate penal code. What the right ought to say on such matters is something like this: “Of course we are intolerant on these matters – just as we are intolerant of pedophilia, rape, and other evils where in our view we are dealing with moral matters that deserve the discrimination of the state.” Elijah
81 The problem, I shall argue, is worse than mere inconsistency in an argument: it is in fact smuggling into the culture massive structures of thought and imposing them on others who disagree, while insisting that the others are the intolerant people. If we were not so caught up in the situation, the ironies would be so delicious they could form the center of an interesting farcical sitcom. Elijah
87 Of course, scholars have created diverse trajectories of the processes of secularization. The old theory of Max Weber (1864–1920) was that secularization is the almost inexorable process in which, as modernity advances, religion retreats. That theory held broad sway until about 1970 and it is still very influential in the popular media and in many circles in Europe.
94 K read Eric Miller’s “Alone in the Academy”
96 The main point of this chapter is to observe how the new tolerance thinks of itself as intrinsically neutral, free from any ethical, moral, or religious system of thought, yet this is not so. The problem is worse than mere inconsistency, for the new tolerance regularly smuggles into the culture massive structures of thought and imposes them on others who disagree, while insisting that the others are the intolerant people. Elijah

97 Chapter 5 The Church and Christian Truth Claims—the church as pillar and ground of the truth
97 In the name of refusing to say that some positions are wrong, this tolerance becomes a synonym for ethical or religious neutrality. It refuses to adjudicate among competing truth claims and moral claims on the ground that to do so would be intolerant. By contrast, the older tolerance – what J. Budziszewski calls “true tolerance” – actually requires you to take a stand among the competing truth and ethical claims, for otherwise you are not in a position to put up with something with which you disagree. Part of the crisis we face in domains as diverse as education, politics, and law, not to mention religion, springs from the decline of the old tolerance and the triumph of the new. For the sad reality is that ethical neutrality – this new tolerance – is finally impossible, but as long as it is pursued it cripples policy and abolishes principled choices because it has banished the framework of truth and morality on which true tolerance depends. Elijah
98 ...in its purest form, the new tolerance is the social commitment to treat all ideas and people as equally right, save for those people who disagree with this view of tolerance. Advocates of the new tolerance sacrifice wisdom and principle in support of just one supreme good: upholding their view of tolerance. Elijah
100 In most western cultures, we live in the shadow of the Enlightenment, which taught us to classify our experience into two categories: the one, full of non-absolutes, is characterized by emotion, aesthetics, the arts; the other is characterized by absolutes, objectivity, science, logical thought, and truth. These two categories are mutually exclusive. The second category is the domain of both tyranny and objective truth. Donna
105 Church leaders who uphold the discipline of their churches are not only doing their jobs; they are following the instruction and example of the NT.
112 As Christians band together to study the Bible, they come to convictions about what the Bible is saying – and that leads, rightly, to shared creeds that are modifiable only by more light from the Bible itself. Our confession of such truth cannot participate in the perfection of Omniscience, but it is nonetheless valid and appropriate to the limitations of our finitude and our fallenness. Better yet, it is made possible by a gracious God who condescends to disclose himself in human words and by the spirit who convicts rebels of sin and illumines darkened minds. Benjy
116 In popular thought, religions like Islam and Christianity are less tolerant because they say that others are wrong, whereas a religion like Buddhism is acceptable because it refuses to say that others are wrong. doubtless there are western “liberal” distortions of Buddhism that are inversely open to other religious stances, just as there are liberal distortions of Christianity that talk about the “essence” of Christianity in similar terms. Buddhism is not as open to other religions as many think.
120 The chief difference is that while the secularist wants all other religions to retreat into the private sphere, he or she insist that secularists have the right to control the public sphere because they are right – completely unaware that they are trying to impose a worldview on others who disagree with it. Elijah
122 But if, say, Christianity insists that at its heart lies good news about what God has done in Christ Jesus, news about God that is true, news about what God has done in Christ Jesus that is true, news that alone can save people from the wrath to come, then Christians ought to talk about it and seek to win others to it. It would be unconscionable not to do so, not only because it is the truth but because it is truth of unimaginably great importance. Elijah
125 One dare not forget that the most cruelly oppressive regimes of the 20th century were not led by Christian believers or by Muslim fundamentalists, but by Marxist atheists and Nazi theorists who uncompromisingly embraced secular creeds. Elijah

127 Chapter 6 And Still There Is Evil—morality
130 Once the category of evil disappears, our moral discernment has no structure. Strong fiber is reduced to mush; the skeleton of moral reasoning is taken out, and what is left is jelly-like protoplasm. We end up not only with rampant ethical relativism but with the anemic inability to feel or express moral outrage over pervasive immorality. Elijah

141 Chapter 7 Tolerance, Democracy, and Majoritarianism—the state
141 In other words, we cannot probe much farther into the challenges coughed up by tolerance, and especially the new tolerance, without a meditation on the state – especially, in the context where this book is written, democratic states.
145 For democracies, like all governments, are based on affirming and supporting certain values and visions of reality, and proscribing others.
150 “The danger of democratic tyranny lies in precisely the inability to recognize what is good and what is evil.” Elijah
158 No, democracies offer us another option: getting involved in trying to shape things in a way that speaks truth and upholds fundamental distinctions between right and wrong, precisely because we love our neighbors.

161 Chapter 8 Ways Ahead: Ten Words—applications to believers
163 We must keep making clear what (old) tolerance consists in, and do what we can to undermine the new tolerance.
167 The petty gains in open-mindedness that we have achieved in recent decades cannot compare with the staggering losses in clarity as to what tolerance is, in understanding the non-negotiability of truth, in the moral blindness that is rocking our world – a blindness we barely detect. Elijah
171 Indeed, at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School I often tell my graduating students that I especially keep on the lookout for students on a pastoral track who can talk to anybody.
171 When we are told that people have different “beliefs” and “identities,” and that “the world is a better place because of these differences,” are we really to buy into such sweeping declarations? How about the belief that the world would be a better place if all Jews were thrown into the ovens? How about the belief that pedophilia is a fine expression of love? How about the beliefs that there’s nothing morally objectionable about crushing the skull of a baby and sucking out its brains, when in the normal course of events it was only three weeks from birth? How about the dogmatic insistence that all religions are really saying the same thing even though this belief is terribly insulting to the most devout followers of almost all if not all the major world religions? Elijah
171 Of course, I still want Christians to be able to talk to anyone, including those who hold to these beliefs or who have experienced these things. But surely that is different from pledging not to “prejudge” all beliefs and experiences. Some beliefs and experiences ought to be pre-judged. Benjy
173 First, openly declaring the gospel to others in an effort to win them to Jesus Christ constitutes a reminder, both for ourselves and for others, that the gospel is supremely important. One of the dangers of a book like this is that its author and readers may begin to think that forging a more responsible track toward older or classic tolerance is one of the most important activities, if not the most important activity, in which we could be engaged. It is not. If we treat it as if it were, we begin to act like functional atheist ourselves. Elijah
174 We insist that genuine tolerance can be maintained only if people have the right – indeed, the responsibility – to tell others where they think they are wrong, in an effort to win them to a different direction.
175 Doubtless that is why the apostle Paul insists that God gives Christians two gracious gifts: faith, and suffering for Jesus sake (Philippians 1:29). We delight to receive the faith; we ought similarly to delight in being associated with Jesus’ sufferings (Philippians 3:10).
176 Delight in God, and trust him. God remains sovereign, wise, and good. Our ultimate confidence is not in any government or party, still less in our ability to mold the culture in which we live. Elijah
  keithhamblen | Dec 7, 2019 |
Logos Library
  birdsnare | May 16, 2019 |
For most people writing an abstract on the work of D. A. Carson is like asking a member of a high school marching band to review The London Philharmonic; compared to the intellectual agility of Carson, this writer is a woefully prepared tuba player. That being said, The Intolerance of Tolerance is a remarkable treatise on the effects of tolerance on contemporary society and the overall results of intolerance when tolerance itself becomes the highest goal; i.e., one can only tolerate those that are being tolerant, or one person’s intolerance cannot be tolerated by the rest of the tolerant. From this basis Carson draws a distinction between the new and old tolerance. The old tolerance allows a person to believe or practice what they wish (for the most part), but does not dictate that the belief or practice must be considered as acceptable by those opposed to the belief or practice. The new tolerance, on the other hand, allows a person to believe or practice what they wish (for the most part), but does dictate that the belief or practice must be considered as acceptable by those opposed to the belief or practice. Of course from the previous two sentences the “for the most part” should be considered, and as Carson correctly points out,
“Every culture and every age necessarily displays some tolerance and some intolerance. No culture can be tolerant of everything or intolerant of everything: it is simply not possible” (47).

The work moves ahead from this point to examine the cultural and societal currents that have sweep aside the ability for the individual or a specific group to maintain a belief system within the larger realm of society.

Of course the primary thrust of this book is to help inform and educate the Christian first and foremost of the dangers hidden within the cry of tolerance for all, especially in the underlying agendas that may accompany those cries. As Christians move within the larger society two threats begin to take shape. First is the ever present and real threat of civil government deciding in the name of tolerance to enact and enforce laws which, despite the First Amendment’s charge, would curtail individual religious freedom for a greater ecumenical good. Second relates to the response of those Christians, who in the name of respect and tolerance for their fellow man, succumb to “the subtle pressure to dumb down, dilute, and minimize the Gospel” (107), a reaction which at its heart domesticates the message and strength of the Gospel so Christians might appear “nice and compassionate” (110). To sum up these two threats as they relate to Christians and to society as a whole (since both are intertwined no matter how each rails at the other), the end product can be expressed as: “Once the category of evil disappears, our moral discernment has no structure” (130). This thought is a principle that applies to either religious or secular culture. Once evil is denied or replaced by either those religious or those secular, evil can grow unchecked in the name of love (for the religious) or the name of tolerance (for the secular).

As a Christian one is not allowed the luxury of placing the rule of society above the rule of God. God is supreme and demands that nothing be placed before Him, which is what happens when a group or idea is allowed to rewrite or supersede the revealed Word of God. Carson makes ten points at the end of the book, numbers seven, eight, and nine are specifically relevant: practice and encourage civility, evangelize, and be prepared to suffer (172-175).

We should let Carson have the final word:

“Within such large frameworks of moral reasoning, tolerance is seen as a virtue because of its concern for the common good. Once tolerance is cut loose from this larger moral vision, however, and becomes shackled to notions of individual freedom to do what one pleases absent much consideration of the common good, it becomes quite a different sort of beast” (49). ( )
1 vote SDCrawford | Jul 30, 2016 |
This book is a treatment on tolerance and how it has changed for the worse from an evangelical Christian perspective.

It is brilliant; I read this almost entirely during my lunch break and despite often having a fried head from work, this book remained completely immersing and gripping.

The discussion of the history of tolerance was fascinating and served as an excellent example of good research and scholarly reading. The section about the semantic changes was enlightening, thought-provoking and enjoyable.

Carson is exceedingly well-read and seems to demonstrate significant capability in theology, history, politics, law and philosophy here.

It is littered with contemporary examples to illustrate his points which keeps it fresh and engaging amongst the theory which would still be interesting without it.

Easy read, but not entertaining in the usual sense - just fascinating.

In one word: Magisterial. ( )
  L.A.Markham | Mar 2, 2014 |
Carson has tackled the topic of tolerance and how its definition has changed over the years. Whereas many Christians would not be accused of intolerance under the older definition, they are being called intolerant because of their strict adherence to their religious beliefs under the new definition. Carson also shows inconsistencies in the application of the new definition of tolerance. There were a few grammatical issues in the opening chapter with mixing of tenses and with beginning sentences with words like "And" or "But." These issues seem to not be present in the later chapters, making one wonder why the first chapter was not polished as the remainder of the book. The sentence structure is more geared toward an academic audience with fairly lengthy and complex sentences, rather than shorter, less-complex sentences found in books designed for popular audiences. The book itself is a book that is going to lend itself well to discussions in many religiously-affiliated colleges and universities, but possibly also in many other publicly and privately funded universities. The book will also be embraced by other readers with an interest in the topic, particularly well-educated Christian leaders. ( )
1 vote thornton37814 | Sep 28, 2013 |
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Marc Royce works for the State Department on special assignments, most of them rather routine, until two CIA operatives go missing in Iraq--kidnapped by Taliban forces bent on generating chaos in the region. Two others also drop out of sight--a high-placed Iraqi civilian and an American woman providing humanitarian aid. Are the disappearances linked? Rumors circulate in a whirl of misinformation. Marc must unravel the truth in a covert operation requiring utmost secrecy--from both the Americans and the insurgents. But even more secret than the undercover operation is the underground dialogue taking place between sworn enemies. Will the ultimate Reconciler between ancient enemies, current foes, and fanatical religious factions be heard?

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