Thursday, April 30, 2009

Conviction vs intolerance

Is a conviction, whatever it may be, or even a philosophical thought, or an experience, or their opposites (a non conviction, a non philosophical thought, a non experience) like a synonym of intolerance?

The answer is simple, it is no, and here is the proof : one can have a conviction of tolerance!

It is thus not the conviction which produces intolerance, but the object of a conviction. This demonstration looks quite straightforward, but I only thought it through recently, after being asked a specific question.

I will add something else, which I discover progressively, and more and more. It is, I think, when we don't have a conviction that we are the most susceptible of being violent. Why? Quite simply because if you are convinced of something (or convinced of not being convinced), it is because you have experienced it, either internally or through your senses, and therefore it is not the opinion of your neighbour that can diminish in any way your experience or your non experience. Therefore, and this is the by-product of the aforementionned, many mistake intolerance (or excessive behavior) and conviction. This explains why so many are violently against or in favor of something, for it plays the role of a conviction, since they affirm and are undoubting. Yet, quite curiously, doubt is in a certain sense the only reliable proof of a conviction. This is quite tricky! lol

Now the question takes on a quite paradoxical allure, and it is its genuine allure, for it is those without a conviction who are the most often intolerant, affirming violently to convince themselves of something, whilst at the same time the ones who are truly convinced do not cease to doubt!

So how do you extirpate yourself from there? For once again we have scraped the surface and we find ourselves mired in a good old dialectic. I only know one way to pass the obstacle: the difference lies in if one seeks the truth or not. And there, now that we have gone beyond the dialectic, we can clearly distinguish the two ways of doubting: the blockheads are wary of truth, whereas the others are prudent with relation to what is false. LoL!

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  1. You have indeed opened another can of worms. Perhaps, the people who are most convinced of their beliefs and ideologies are seeking reinforcement and confirmation of their beliefs and to justify their intolerance. They know that their ideologies and beliefs are ridiculed and dismantled by the other side. So, intolerance is invisible as well as doubt and the human machine chugs along creating more disturbances, more violence, and more justification for these built-in channels of action. And Heraclitus'comment that, "War is the
    father of us all still rings true. Count Sneaky

  2. Its nice and good information blog.I like its.

  3. Greetings Count,
    If we continue opening cans of worms, worm wrestling has a bright future ahead indeed. ;-)

    I also interpret Hercalitus comment as the dialectic approach. Some chose to never go beyond the dialectic. Aristotle does so through analogy, for Plato it is contemplation...

  4. Here are a few things I simply cannot tolerate: a ticking clock when I am trying to sleep, someone eating with their mouth open and slurping their drink, vending machines that "steal" my money, fundamentalists who reduce everything to a few fundamentals, the elevation of childbirth to the status of holy sacrament, the belief that Nature is mild and caring and only man is evil, those who bow to public opinion, coffee without cream, cream without coffee, family matters, CNN, my own image in the mirror, a woman's flirt, shirt-tails that are too short, having to work late, authors with nothing to say, authors who have something to say but say it badly, blog comments, cats, academic writing style, country and western music, all folk music, the face of a bird (though I am fascinated by it), parents who scream at their kids, beggars who won't stop, busses that won't stop – and here I'll stop.

  5. We tolerate what seems strong to us, what convinces, that is to say, what is victorious over our spirit because of its beautiful strength. We are intolerant toward everything weak and will not stop nagging at us with its beseeching weakness, even our own yielding formlessness. We load off the weakness of our own unconvincing convictions, our own physical inadequacies and unbeauty, onto others and then shun them forcibly. We hate weakness and the fall into decay, and we struggle with its agents, the ubiquity and helplesness of the trivial. And we want the one we love to admire us for our strength, knowing full well we will be rejected if it is absent.

    The Postmodernist, the panderer of the eidolon, the weak image, knows that beauty, evil and weakness consort. We all feel its pull. Its pious, priestly words are, however, almost intolerable.

  6. @Gary,
    Nice thoughts here. Up there on my list of "intolerances" are the motorbikes with trafficked motors which zip by in front of your country lodging. :)

  7. As one who is always wary of absolutes, I do have fundamental (not to be construed with Fundamentalist) beliefs. Perhaps, as you say, this has arisen from my life experience. Politics, for example, do not belong in a church. I abhor this as much as I would a motorbike in front of a country lodge.

  8. Greetings :) As it is grounded in external experience, metaphysics/first philosophy is an objective knowledge... which doesn't mean it should be imposed on anyone, of course.

  9. I agree, there is no real absolutes in the human world, but perceptions. Intolerance does not exclusively apply to popular or political beliefs while [a] conviction generally does. Like that you brought up this discussion.

    Take care.

  10. @Marcia,
    One caveat, it is not reality which is relative to our perception but the other way around. And we approach reality through a constant back and forth between it and our perception of it.Thanks for stopping in. :)

  11. Caught me on a return home from watching football. British teams in a European championship semi-final, watching via a plasma screen in some bar in Pozan, Poland. Being a Canadian, I'm constantly surprised by the passion, intolerance and the impossibility of dialogue among the football faithful (did someone say dialectic? ha!).

    The absolute does exist though, in the allegiance to their teams, perhaps aided by their constantly questioning of the real possibility of winning. Hmmm, maybe that's why it's the smaller teams that have the hardest core intolerant fans...And around again to reality!

    BTW Man U took care of Arsenal handily and will be vying to repeat as European champs.

  12. Forgot to add my thanks for a nice read, particularly the extirpate! Not possible in the football supporting world from what I can tell, roots are firmly planted.

  13. Hi Shane,
    You are in Poland now? Great country. The football analogy has something to it. I loved the Red Devils with Cantona and the following years. Havent't been following too much since. A tough game for Barcelona against Chelsea tonight. :)