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Keywords: The difference between tolerance and approval on a scale of acceptance a simple conceptual model tolerance vs. approval

Tolerance vs. Approval
On A Scale Of Acceptance

A Simple Conceptual Model For Looking At Issues

A Service Of Internet Church Of Christ -
"Love All People As Yourself."
Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director

The Difference Between Tolerance and Approval, On A Scale Of Acceptance

A first draft, by Rev. Bill McGinnis, April 14, 2005 - Public Domain.

In our culture today, there are certain actions which Society may be able to tolerate but may never fully approve of. Among these actions are: unrestricted sex among consenting adults, including homosexual acts, adultery, and prostitution; abortion; same-sex civil unions and/or marriage; and rights to die.

Without going into the merits of these issues at this time, we can nevertheless recognize the important differences between Tolerance and Approval. Also we observe that many people can tolerate things they can never approve of.

"Tolerance" is allowing something to exist without actively opposing it, even though we do not like it very much and we do not think it is a good thing. "Approval" is helping something to exist because we do like it and we do think it is a good thing.

Thus "Tolerance" has a lower level of acceptance than "Approval," as shown below, where a score of 10 means "Total Acceptance" and 0 means "Total Rejection."

            Levels Of Acceptance, On A Scale Of Zero To Ten
10. TOTAL ACCEPTANCE - We think it is wonderful and worth promoting
    and defending, with our lives, if necessary. This is what a 
    true patriot thinks about his country, and what a true believer 
    thinks about his religion.
 9. VERY STRONG APPROVAL - We very strongly approve of it, and we
    work very hard to support it.
 8. STRONG APPROVAL - We strongly approve of it, and we actively
    support it.
 7. MILD APPROVAL - We approve of it, and we generally support it.
 6. SLIGHT APPROVAL - We slightly approve of it, but we do not 
    actively support it. 
 5. INDIFFERENCE - We don't care whether it exists or doesn't exist. 
 4. TOLERANCE - We slightly disapprove of it, but we do not actively 
    oppose it.
 3. MILD DISAPPROVAL - We disapprove of it, and we generally oppose it, 
    but we do not try very hard to stop it.
 2. STRONG DISAPPROVAL - We strongly disapprove of it, and we try hard
    to stop it.
 1. VERY STRONG DISAPPROVAL - We very strongly disapprove of it, and we 
    oppose it by all legal means. 
 0. TOTAL REJECTION - We completely and totally reject it,
    and we oppose it by all means necessary, legal or not.

Here are two easy examples from everyday life, which illustrate the difference between Tolerance and Approval.

We tolerate babies crying in public, because it is in their nature to cry sometimes, and what can we really do to stop it? But we do not approve of babies crying in public. Their mothers should try to keep them as quiet as possible, so as not to annoy other people and not to interfere with other people's rights of "quiet enjoyment."

Traffic police frequently tolerate driving speeds of five or ten miles per hour above the posted limits on major highways. They cannot actually approve of driving faster than the speed limits, because they are required to enforce the law, and the law sets the speed limits. But they can simply not enforce the minor infractions.

That is all I have for now. Please feel free to take any of these ideas and words, and make them your own. Improve them, make them better than they are here.

Blessings to you.

            Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director

Blessings to you. May God help us all.

       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director -

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