Doesn't tolerance mean that all opinions are respectable, including those of advocates of abortion and euthanasia?
a) Democratic societies that have emerged during the modern era have all made reference to the universality of Human Rights. It is on this foundational reference that diverse positive prescriptions seeking to guarantee rights are grafted. The right to life, to liberty, and to property is the object of variable legal dispositions, but it is always these fundamental rights that are protected. It is the same for pluralism as for tolerance: it is always exercised in the framework of respect for the fundamental rights of man. In this sense, one understands what civil tolerance is: It is nothing else but the recognition and respect of persons. In this sense also, the modern state is civilly tolerant and pluralistic.
b) Those who violate by legal means the fundamental right to life of every human being defeat this civil tolerance: They arrogate to themselves, as a consequence, the "right" to dispose of the existence of unborn infants and "useless" beings.
c) Whence comes the curious paradox of demolishing civil tolerance in the name of doctrinal tolerance or doctrinal pluralism. In effect, by reason of the latter, there is nothing but "procedural" ethics since all opinions are "equally respectable". Hence, if the opinion that such and such a category of human beings isn't worthy of life triumphs, then the human beings listed under this rubric (by majority decision, of course) can be legally eliminated.
d) This conception of doctrinal tolerance and doctrinal pluralism thus signals the banishment of civil tolerance in any given society.
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