Thursday, March 23, 2017


I saw a YouTube video by Bishop Barron last week, about tolerance and inclusivity. He mentioned that every society has certain fundamental values, which people prize. In our society, we prize things like tolerance and inclusivity, freedom and liberty, and love and truth.

Sometimes, the different values can come into conflict. We've seen this recently, with some people saying hateful, intolerant things. Does that trump their right to free speech? If we decide to censor someone or not, that's making a judgment call over whether we prize freedom or tolerance higher.

A moral dilemma that I've seen people propose is whether or not you should tell your best friend that their new haircut looks awful. People say that's making a judgment call over whether we prize love or truth more. I've never quite understood that conflict; it always seems to me that you should tell your friend the truth because you love them. Love and truth don't have to be in conflict, in that case. It seems more to me that the truth flows from love, as opposed to love being against truth.

Bishop Barron makes the point that if love is your highest virtue, there are times when it will come into conflict with tolerance and inclusivity. You can think of a teacher who loves their students, but isn't going to tolerate misbehavior in class. And that's good; it's better for the class overall, if misbehavior and distractions are eliminated. Does this mean the teacher is an oppressive bigot? No, because the teacher is operating out of love, wishing the well-being of the students.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If a friend has a bad haircut (to my eyes) maybe they like it, so why should I bring them down and be judge and jury of their hair.

Also if it is a really bad haircut, they probably know, so why rub salt in their wounds.

That doesnt mean you have to lie, you can just say something, like "wow, you got a new haircut, what made you want to change?" or something