Karl Popper, a famous Austrian philosopher of science from the 20th century put forth the thesis that too much tolerance is a bad thing.
Watch the Vice Media coverage of the Charlottesville Neo-Nazi gathering/protest below and assess your position on tolerance and censorship:
Questions to Consider:
- What arguments exist that the group should the group NOT be tolerated? I.e not allowed to protest and spread their ideas?
- What arguments can you come up with that the group should be tolerated and allowed to protest and spread their ideas?
- What dangers exist in letting the group speak? What dangers exist in preventing them from speaking?
- How would this issue be viewed from a utilitarian perspective? How would the issue be viewed from a Kantian perspective?
Popper’s argument against too much tolerance is summarized below, what logical fallacy could you argue is present in his argument?
And lastly, let’s return to our title question: is tolerance the root of democracy’s demise?