Recently I posted the following on my Facebook timeline: “It seems to me that a lot of people have the meaning of tolerance and the meaning of acceptance confused. I tolerate quite a bit, but I do not accept all of those things I tolerate as being moral or right and neither will I adopt them as part of my life.” People seem, through assumptions, to not understand what this means.
I happen to accept the fact that morality is relative. What may be moral to me might be immoral to you, what may be immoral to me might be moral to you.
Then there is toleration and acceptance. I stated that I tolerate a great deal but do not accept as moral or right everything that I tolerate. A small, exceedingly small, example: I tolerate people who use a swear word as every other word they say. Nevertheless, even though I do not move to “correct” them, I do not think it moral or right to speak in that manner. I think that “I do not move to correct them” is significant because I do not feel it is appropriate to force my idea of what is moral or right on anyone else. (There is of course exceptions: a murderer thinks murder is okey dokey, naturally I would call the appropriate law enforcement agency in an attempt to “correct” him/her)
I have always felt that there are some things better left unsaid. These hurtful and critical things, if spoken, will change nothing and may do harm as far as friendships and mental well-being. Clarification: I might think you are an immoral SOB due to my held views of morality, but I will never say it. It’s none of my business how you live your life and my morals and outlook on life are my own concern and no one else’s.
Is this hypocritical? Perhaps. This would be so only if people made assumptions. If I never speak up to support or oppose your morality views you might assume that I support or oppose them when you really don’t have a clue. Silence on an issue means nothing though many confrontational individuals like to think it does.
If someone really wants knowledge of my moral views then they will have to ask the right question. Just as I do not go about exclaiming everywhere that “I am an atheist” but do not hesitate defending it when pressed, so I will respond likewise to other questions, properly phrased, of course.