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In Defense of Tolerance

Multiculturalist thinkers frequently dismiss liberal moral principles such as freedom and tolerance as illusions, or as not being good enough, says Frank Furedi.

It is important to note that the theorists of tolerance—Locke or Mill—were not motivated by a desire to challenge relations of power but rather by the goal of restraining the state from regulating people’s views and opinions. Their impulse was to uphold the freedoms of belief, conscience and speech, because liberals took the view that it was preferable for people to find their own path to the truth than that truth should be imposed from above. It was how the power of the state was used, rather than power relations in general, which the demand for toleration sought to address.


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