Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Intolerance

"Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding." -

"Of all ennobling sentiments, patriotism may be the most easily manipulated. On the one hand, it gives powerful expression to what is best in a nation’s character: a commitment to principle, a willingness to sacrifice, a devotion to the community by the choice of the individual. But among its toxic fruits are intolerance, belligerence and blind obedience, perhaps because it blooms most luxuriantly during times of war." - Nancy Gibbs

"Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"It seems to me probable that anyone who has a series of intolerable positions to put up with must have been responsible for them in some extent; not that it was simply "their fault" - I don't mean that - but that they have contributed to it by impatience, or intolerance, or brusqueness - or some provocation." - Robert Hugh Benson

"A religion, even if it calls itself the religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it. Fundamentally, indeed, every religion is in this same way a religion of love for all those whom it embraces; while cruelty and intolerance towards those who do not belong to it are natural to every religion." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"We are not only made in God’s image, but that we are made to image God - to reflect His freedom, joy, compassion and peace in our lives... When religion becomes reduced to an outward observation of rules and ceremonies and an intolerance toward the beliefs of others, we are mistaking the oyster for the pearl. The oyster is certainly valuable, but it is of infinitely greater value when it promotes the growth of the pearl... We cannot reason our way back to the roots of religion. We cannot trap God in stale dogmas or narrow creeds. Our purpose is to make religion a continuous living experience, to lead us toward a resurrection not of the dead but of the living who are dead to their own truth. Then religion becomes a thread that can both link us to the past and guide us to our future." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"Intelligence is derived from two words - inter and legere - inter meaning "between" and legere meaning "to choose." An intelligent person, therefore, is one who has learned "to choose between." He knows that good is better than evil, that confidence should supersede fear, that love is superior to hate, that gentleness is better than cruelty, forbearance than intolerance, compassion than arrogance and that truth has more virtue than ignorance." - J. Martin Klotsche

"Earth has not a spectacle more glorious or more fair to show than this - love tolerating intolerance; charity covering, as with a avail, even the sin of the lack of charity." -

"Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality." - Theodor W. Adorno, born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund

"There is nothing that dies so hard and rallies so often as intolerance." - William E. Borah

"Cruel persecution and intolerance are not accidents, but grow out of the very essence of religion, namely, its absolute claims." -

"When will the churches learn that intolerance, personal or ecclesiastical, is an evidence of weakness: The confident can afford to be calm and kindly; only the fearful must defame and exclude." -

"The historical Jesus has a different category of sins from that of the Old Testament or of Paul or of ecclesiastical writers after him. The sins which occupied the attention of Jesus were hypocrisy, wordliness, intolerance, and selfishness. The sins which occupy the principal attention of the Church… are impurity, murder, the drinking of alcohol, swearing, the neglect of the Church’s services and ordinances." - Robert Keable

"No loss by flood and lightning, no destruction of cities and temples by the hostile forces of nature has deprived man of so many noble lives and impulses as those which his intolerance has destroyed." - Helen Keller. aka Helen Adams Keller

"It was and it is to do all that can be done to eradicate an evil thing out of our civilization… a thing so incredibly wicked that it would not have been believable of modern man if it had not actually occurred. This evil, this wickedness began with intolerance and hate in a few men’s hearts. It spread until it almost wrecked the world. Now the obligation is to remember, not in hate, not in the spirit of revenge, but so that this spirit cannot ever flourish again so long as man remains on earth. And to this end, let us begin, each of us, by looking into our own hearts." - New York Times Editorial on the Holocaust NULL

"Toleration is not the opposite of intoleration, but it is the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, and the other of granting it. The one is the pope, armed with fire and fagot, and the other is the pope selling or granting indulgences. " - Thomas Paine

"No human trait deserves less tolerance in everyday life, and gets less, than intolerance." -

"Fanaticism and intolerance often result from the delusion that, "this alone is the truth and everything else is false," causing people to commit atrocities in the name of "truth."" - P. D. Premasiri, fully Pahalawattage Don Premasiri

"Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision." -

"Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision." -

"Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision." -

"How much happier would the religious history of the world been if the different religions and sects had seen their role as contributors to a common stream of seeking for the Ultimate, which always escapes the conceptual net, yet perennially inspires the search. Actually many in the modern world are becoming tolerant toward religion in the wrong way. Their tolerance is not a product of understanding but is bred of indifference. They see the conventional forms in which religion is practiced as empty shells although they excite in their defense belligerent intolerance." - Arthur W Osborn

"Many prophets of the major religions were themselves remarkably open-minded. Jesus Christ surrounded himself with society's outcasts. Often it has been the followers of the prophets who, to consolidate power, honed the sharp sword of intolerance." - Charles Panati

"The historical record of religions on tolerance is drenched in the blood of intolerance." - Charles Panati

"Intolerance is a form of egoism, and to condemn egoism intolerantly is to share it." - George Santayana

"Nothing dies so hard, or rallies so often as intolerance." - Henry Ward Beecher

"Nothing dies so hard, or rallies so often, as intolerance." - Henry Ward Beecher

"So natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care bout, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realized, except where religious indifference, which dislikes to have its peace disturbed by theological quarrels, has added its weight to the scale." - John Stuart Mill

"Man's nature... is not corrupt. The idea of God is innate in man's mind from the beginning; so that by reason alone man has arrived, everywhere, at a recognition of God which is sufficient. Religious intolerance is blasphemy, since in their primal ground and ultimate sense, all religions are one, as is mankind." - Joseph Campbell

"Tolerance in the sense of moderation or superior knowledge or skepticism is actually the worst form of intolerance." - Karl Barth

"The only true spirit of tolerance consists in our conscientious toleration of each other's intolerance." -

"Religious discord has lost her sting; the cumbrous weapons of theological warfare are antiquated: the field of politics supplies the alchymists of our times with materials of more fatal explosion, and the butchers of mankind no longer travel to another world for instruments of cruelty and destruction. Our age is too enlightened to contend upon topics, which concern only the interests of eternity; and men who hold in proper contempt all controversies about trifles, except such as inflame their own passions, have made it a common-place censure against your ancestors, that their zeal was enkindled by subjects of trivial importance; and that however aggrieved by the intolerance of others, they were alike intolerant themselves." - John Quincy Adams

"The great writers to whom the world owes what religious liberty it possesses, have mostly asserted freedom of conscience as an indefeasible right, and denied absolutely that a human being is accountable to others for his religious belief. Yet so natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realised, except where religious indifference, which dislikes to have its peace disturbed by theological quarrels, has added its weight to the scale." - John Stuart Mill

"The only wisdom I think I've attained is the wisdom to be skeptical of other people's ideology and other people's arguments. I tend to be a skeptic, I don't like dogmatic approaches by anybody. I don't like intolerance and a dogmatic person is intolerant of other people. It's one of the reasons I keep a distance from all religious beliefs. I think in this country and in Australia too there's a late intolerance in most religions, an intolerance, a part that could easily become persecutions." - Joseph Heller

"It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects... that is was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject." - Joseph Story

"Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its autonomous intellect, to which others must bow." - Carl von Clausewitz, fully Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz, also Karl von Clausewitz

"Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance." - Lyndon Johnson, fully Lyndon Baines Johnson, aka LBJ

"I start…from a belief in individual freedom and that derives fundamentally from a belief in the limitations of our knowledge, from a belief…that nobody can be sure that what he believes is right, is really right.…I’m an imperfect human being who cannot be certain of anything, so what position…involved the least intolerance on my part?…The most attractive position…is putting individual freedom first." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"If we want to cultivate a true spirit of democracy we cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause. " - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"Cruel persecutions and intolerance are not accidents, but grow out of the very essence of religion, namely, its absolute claims." - Morris Raphael Cohen

"him. He now owns a small part of me, which I have freely and voluntarily given. Intelligent people discuss ideas. Fools discuss how people should behave… Intolerance is the only way to put an end to the doubts which disturb the spirit of human beings has always been… Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life. " -

"In economics, we borrowed from the Bourbons; in foreign policy, we drew on themes fashioned by the nomad warriors of the Eurasian steppes. In spiritual matters, we emulated the braying intolerance of our archenemies, the Shite fundamentalists." - Barbara Ehrenreich, born Barbara Alexander

"I am sometimes accused of arrogant intolerance in my treatment of creationists. Of course arrogance is an unpleasant characteristic, and I should hate to be thought arrogant in a general way. But there are limits! To get some idea of what it is like being a professional student of evolution, asked to have a serious debate with creationists, the following comparison is a fair one. Imagine yourself a classical scholar who has spent a lifetime studying Roman history in all its rich detail. Now somebody comes along, with a degree in marine engineering or mediaeval musicology, and tries to argue that the Romans never existed. Wouldn't you find it hard to suppress your impatience? And mightn't it look a bit like arrogance?" - Richard Dawkins

"As we discern a fine line between crank and genius, so also (and unfortunately) we must acknowledge an equally graded trajectory from crank to demagogue. When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown." - Stephan Jay Gould

"The equation of evolution with progress represents our strongest cultural impediment to a proper understanding of this greatest biological revolution in the history of human thought." - Stephan Jay Gould

"What is the lesson to us to-day? Are we to go the way of the older civilizations? The immense increase in the area of civilized activity to-day, so that it is nearly coterminous with the world's surface; the immense increase in the multitudinous variety of its activities; the immense increase in the velocity of the world movement—are all these to mean merely that the crash will be all the more complete and terrible when it comes? We can not be certain that the answer will be in the negative; but of this we can be certain, that we shall not go down in ruin unless we deserve and earn our end. There is no necessity for us to fall; we can hew out our destiny for ourselves, if only we have the wit and the courage and the honesty." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"I observe an idea of establishing a branch bank of the United States in New Orleans. This institution is one of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution. The nation is at this time so strong and united in its sentiments that it cannot be shaken at this moment. But suppose a series of untoward events should occur sufficient to bring into doubt the competency of a republican government to meet a crisis of great danger, or to unhinge the confidence of the people in the public functionaries; an institution like this, penetrating by its branches every part of the union, acting by command and in phalanx may, in a critical moment, upset the government. I deem no government safe which is under the vassalage of any self-constituted authorities, or any other authority than that of the nation or its regular functionaries. What an obstruction could not this Bank of the United States, with al its branch banks, be in time of war! It might dictate to us the peace we should accept, or withdraw its aids. Ought we then to give further growth to an institution so powerful, so hostile?" - Thomas Jefferson

"Let what will be said or done, preserve your sang-froid immovably, and to every obstacle, oppose patience, perseverance, and soothing language." - Thomas Jefferson

"I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide." - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann