November 23, 2010

The Failure of the Word "Tolerance" in Modern Society

November 23, 2010

The Head of the Center for Geography of Religions at the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, Roman Silantyev, urged the public to give up the term tolerance.

"Tolerance is the term which society has been recently trying to fill with a new sense of meaning; but the word failed to comply with expectations in the sense of tolerance to evil and destructive pacifism," he said in Cheboksary at a round table conference Tolerance as Imperative in Dialogue of Civilizations, Cultures and Confessions.

Silantyev said he visited a youth camp this September where a lecture on tolerance was delivered, and participants "trained to use the Internet" told him that they had looked up the word tolerance and found out that it was a medical term meaning a diminution in the physiological response to decease.

Thus, "the most tolerant of us is an AIDS patient who has no immunity to anything at all."

"Tolerance has a Western origin and is a great step forward compared with racial theories, concentration camps and apartheid, but compared with peace among peoples inherent to Russia it is a step backward," Silantyev believes.

According to him, "Europeans have no reason to teach us tolerance, moreover, we should teach them the right patterns of peace among peoples and religions."

"The propaganda of tolerance seems irrelevant while the Western tolerant and multicultural society is in collapse, and even the European leaders refer to the failure of this model," he noted and urged the public to give up this term "as there is no practical benefit in its use."