Gilbert Keith ChestertonGilbert Keith Chesterton, (1874-1936) British essayist, critic, poet, and novelist

Gilbert Keith Chesterton Quote

“Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.”

Gilbert Keith ChestertonGilbert Keith Chesterton
~ Gilbert Keith Chesterton


Ratings and Comments


Ben, Orem, UT

That depends on your definition of tolerance, but I mostly disagree

Mike, Norwalk

I understand kind of where Chesterton was going, but like Ben, I mostly disagree.

Justin, Elkland

Don't look at this statement in the context of a government. A government, if it must exist, must also be tolerant; for a government is by definition, without convictions. The individual need not like or speak well of anyone with an opposing worldview. They need only refrain from breaking that person's leg or picking their pocket.

cal, lewisville, tx

Mike, I believe i understand his satire here. Folks who feel they have no convictions probably have no tolerance of those they think do. Take ole "head in the clouds" Joe Biden for one.

jim k, Austin

I give it 5 stars as it applies to our toleration of bad government by continuing to elect the same scoundrels over and over.

Justin, Elkland

Tolerance is not an antonym for bigotry. It is not simply a synonym for open-mindedness either. It implies allowing an action to occur even though you know it to be wrong. It is more synonymous with apathy.

Justin, Elkland

A short list of things that I am intolerant of, which is to say I denounce them and do not allow thier practice in my home: Naziism, Fascism, Communism, slavery, racism, zoophilia, jihad, pedophilia, burglary, adultery, Sharia Law, pantomime, cannibalism, polytheism, suicide bombing, crusading, ethnic clensing. Some I find morally reprehensible and some just annoying but I am intolerant of all.

Mike, Norwalk

Justin, lol, I like it ;-)

RBESRQ
  • Reply
RBESRQ    5/17/10

I'm intolerant of the intolerant. Justin, what about proselytizing - being apathetic towards those things you are intolerant and find annoying obviously means they have no importantance in your life.

Waffler, Smith

Maybe to be intolerant of ethnic clensing is to be a tolerant person. While we may and probably should be convicted about some things we should I think be convicted of the fact that others have the same right to be convicted about things. Some times these convictions are total opposites and that is when we must be tolerant. Being convicted about something or being totally sincere does not mean you are correct.

Justin, Elkland

RBE, if you mean proselytizing by force then yes I would be intolerant of that one as well. Proselytizing through persuasion I have no problem with. The essence of Liberty is being able to stand for or against an idea without fear of violent repercussions. Waffler Your statements are self-contradiciting. "Being convicted about something or being totally sincere does not mean you are correct." This statement is absurd. According to who? The person who disagrees with you? Jihadists think they are correct and I say they are not. Who decides which is right. Correct and incorrect can only be judged on the basis of whether you have harmed one's health or property.

Louis, Fort Worth

Chesterson speaks well on this subject. "Straight is the way, and narrow is the gate......" does not describe a person who is so broadminded that they are flatheaded. True righteousness requires that one be rigid, and uncompromising when the issue is original U.S. Constitution, for instance. Perhaps I should have said the Bill of Rights instead, but you get the point. If you begin to compromise with "Congress shall make no law" you have started down the road to destruction. Kind of like a seduction. It starts small. A kiss, then a touch, then a button and before too long the object of your desire is without clothing, etc,. etc.

Darby, Nashville

Another of his quotes: "Art, like morality, begins by drawing a line somewhere." You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything - especially when two "truths" are diametrically opposed. Tolerance in today's terms means not just refraining from force to prevent an opponent's view. Most people confuse tolerance with acceptance.

Devon, Ft Worth

I used to wonder why people called me a bigot. Then I realized it's because I have convictions while they do not. I am not so tolerant that I will yield ground to that which is wrong, and so the left hates me. I can live with that.

Joe, Green Bay, WI

All too often I find people who call themselves "Tolerant" to be intolerant of anyone not only of conviction, but of the right convictions.

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