Politics in Minutes (2016)

Toleration

Another cornerstone of liberalism is the concept of tolerance, that if someone is not actually harming anyone or interfering with their pursuit of happiness, they have the right to do as they please. Linked to this are specific liberties such as freedom of speech and of the press, and freedom of religion and political allegiance. The tolerant atmosphere in countries espousing these liberal principles, such as Britain and the USA in the 19th century, made them havens for refugees who were persecuted for their beliefs elsewhere. However, tolerance is now being tested in the multicultural societies that were created in part by such liberal acceptance, as some indigenous populations feel their way of life is threatened by immigration. Tolerance of freedom of speech and religion, too, is challenged by those who claim to be offended by opposing views. There is a difficult balance to be struck in our tolerance of religious or cultural customs that conflict with those of the wider society, such as arranged marriages or inhumane methods of animal slaughter.

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