This is a bit of RL/SL/human nature pontification, I guess. Whatever an SL avatar’s viewpoint (and all DO have a viewpoint unless they are bots) that viewpoint is driven by human nature. Recent events in Pakistan and seemingly unrelated upheavals in the Land of the Free cause me to ponder the issue of intolerance in both worlds.

The killing of a pro-tolerance human in Pakistan seemingly by elements who will not tolerate anything seen as an insult to Islam caused me to wonder if that attitude was unreasonable, or whether those of us who see tolerance as a virtue, not a weakness, are suffering from an enfeeblement of our morals.
In another place, the resurgence of a view that individuals must stand or fall according to their own resources seems to indicate a growth in intolerance of those less/un able to help themselves.
Leaving aside, for a moment, the issue of the sanctity of human life (which is left aside quite readily by many individuals of all persuasions in this world), what I see is a growth in intolerance of others as a valid position in moral thinking.
I have seen it time and time again in SL, with various factions being pilloried as being beyond some arbitrary pale. “Live and Let Live” philosophy is castigated as being “lily-livered” liberalism by those who assert their sole right of possession of the moral high ground. I have to say that I continue to live my own SL/RL in increasing fear that someone soon will tell me that I am no longer allowed to think/live as I do.

Why are humans so intolerant of each other’s views? What are these folk so afraid of? In many cases I am told that it is done to protect the vulnerable from harm, but that protection is highly conditional on the mores of the ones providing that “protection”.

I was recently told that my belief in freedom was irresponsible and dangerous to society. Whose society??
We are, it seems, all individuals with clear ideas as to what is tolerance and what is intolerance…all “individuals”? But, surely, that would be anarchy, wouldn’t it? Look up the true meaning of the word anarchy, not what some people THINK it means – you might be surprised.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on January 5, 2011.

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