a question of tolerance

growing up today seems to be full of limits – you can not say this and you can not say that. political correctness derives from a combination of the realization that the hatred between races can lead to unimaginable cruel outcomes, and the believe that language is more than just a tool to picture reality, but that it instead creates realities.

after the second world war was the first time that people started to question whether any kind of human being could indeed be inferior or superior to the other, as they had believed it for many years. they asked whether the hatred against colors and unknown cultures or habits was indeed enough to allow brutality and un-human behavior on a scale that might be said to be un-natural, for even animals kill for the reason of survival and not for mere pleasure or believed superiority (if any body has different proof of that – let me know!). as they were striving for peace between their countries, they also started to look for peace between the cultures – luckily there was a “bad guy” right around the corner, so they could quietly start making peace with former african, latin american and east asian colonies, while still having them close to the own economic and social systems, for the “needed of protecting them” against the red evil.

the so called linguistic turn started in the 1960’s with wittgenstein’s famous “philosophical investigations” when he corrected his own view on language. had he previously stated, that language is a picture of reality, he corrected himself thirty years later and found language to be a game – it plays within certain rules, yet it also creates the reality of the game by playing it in a certain way. this new realization in science, that language indeed matters, is now seen in e.g. feministic approaches to shape reality through fostering awareness in the use of language. together with the awareness of equality between people, we created a language that forbids to say certain things.

tolerance is written on the flags of european and american countries. and i second that, when it comes to personal life. i firmly believe, one should be able to live the life he or she wants the best way he or she can – no matter of what race (and even this word is not politically correct), what sex and what religion. yet i also think that the limit to this freedom should be the freedom of someone else. and this is where the problem with tolerance starts. how far can and should political tolerance go? where is the line between valuing the own culture and tolerating an other?

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