14 October 2009

Tolerance, intolerance and zero-tolerance

There are two kinds of people: those who think that tolerance is a good thing, and those who think that the absence of tolerance is a good thing.

Zachary Christie, First Grader Suspended for Bringing Camping Utensil to School - ABC News:
Debbie Christie's son Zachary, a first-grader at Downes Elementary School in Newark, Del., was suspended for carrying a camping utensil that contained a spoon, fork, bottle opener and knife to school.

'I wasn't really trying to get in trouble,' 6-year-old Zachary said. 'I was just trying to eat lunch with it.'...

School administrators deemed Zachary to be in violation of their zero-tolerance ban on weapons, and he may have to attend the district's reform school.

Actually there are three kinds of people, and I suspect that the third type is actually the majority. They are the ones who think that speaking of "tolerance" as an absolute virtue, and speaking of "zero tolerance" as a virtue are equally nonsensical.

2 comments:

Tauratinzwe said...

I always heard that there were three kinds of people. Those who could count and those who couldn't.

The Scylding said...

Believe me, there is a lot of that insanity on this side of the Atlantic. But more so south of the 49th.... But a leading cause of that is the horrible tendency of people to be thinking only in terms of pigeon holes. This is further exacerbated by their legal system, which has no concept of the "average, reasonable man". This principle, at least in theory, is a great advantage in the Roman-Dutch Law as it should be practiced.

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