The general acceptance of the meaning of tolerance is about universal human rights, to behave virtuous way towards other people and to respect others’ rights. Generally, experts declare that the people’s freedoms and rights end where the other people’s freedoms and rights start because to be tolerant requires being respectful others’ beliefs and not preventing others’ freedom and their rights. According to this claim, while people sustain their lives, they should think what their decisions’ and actions’ potential results because these decisions and actions may be profitable for their life. On the other hand, these decisions and actions may affect other people’s lives negatively and may cause physical and psychological problems. Thus, tolerance entails taking other people’s possible benefits and injuries into consideration. Although some people claim that the meaning of tolerance has changed for the worse, the meaning of tolerance has changed for the better and people are more tolerant on racial ,sexual, and religious issues.
Some people incorrectly claim that the understanding of tolerance has become worse. However they are wrong in some ways. They say that the family structure has changed for the worse, also the rates of divorce, separation and cohabitation is increasing because of intolerance in a family environment. Also they add these affect the family bond between parents and children. For instance, Brenda Almond states “Often described as being ‘post- Christian’ phase, many Western countries, and Britian in patrticular, present a picture in which marriage as a basic family structure is visibly on the retreat as cohibitation, seperation and divorce expand to fill the void created. The UK provides a model of how life has changed.
In Britain in 1979 children under 16 were mostly living with their two married parents. The figure then was over 80% but by 1992, just over a decade later, the figure had fallen to under 70%.”(p.136). However parents’ seperation, divorcement and cohibitation are not create impact on family bond. Even if the parents get divorce, the family bond does not weaken because in these days the families are more educated about raising children so that children can spend equal time both mother and father, they are not affected vey much from the lack of carelessness. Even if they are influenced, they overcome this problem easily.
In other words, most of time divorced families’ children are healthier than other children who grown up with married families because if parents always fight, the child is influenced directly. Eventhough, some people say that the meaning of tolerance has shifted for the worse, effects of this change is not like what people think. Because of eduction, families facilitate children to overcome the problems which arise from divorcement and seperation and children are not affected so much from this negativity.
The first area which is about understanding of tolerance is race. Racial problems occupy the world’s media less than other problems today because peoples’ attitudes changed towards these problems. They don’t discriminate the other people by different norms. In the past, people classified the other people by their race, if strangers’ race was not the same with theirs, their behaviour altered in a negative way immediately. They ostracize or torture the strangers. Thus, some majorities tried to make the minorities their slaves and perpetrate genocide against the minorities. However, today this attitude towards the other races shift, people start to live with other races in peace.
In people’s new perspective everybody has equal rights by laws. Different races live together they share the same status. For example, before 19th century in the USA, the black peoples were living as slaves. They used to work for white people. They did hard work and they could be bought and sold like an object. However after the American Civil War, slaves gained their independence after a period of time they gain voting right. The USA handled danger of division and became united country with both black and white people.
Sexuality is the other field that explains why the meaning of tolerance change for the better. Until 10 years ago people thought only men liked women and women liked men. Even if the opposite condition occured, they didn’t accept it and also they ignored and punished the homosexual people. However over 10 years later people changed their mentality toward the homesexual people and respect individual rights of homesexuals. Some of countries allow gay marriage such as Holland and Belgium. Some of them give a permission gays to join the army For example, in the UK, the army didn’t permit the gay people to participate the army before 2000 but the policymakers passed a new law which allowed the gay people to join the UK army.
Some big companies’ employers strive to protect homosexual employees rights. For instance, american tax law requires collecting more tax from homosexuals than heterosexual people. Due to higher risk of health problem because goverment suppose gays, lesbians and bisexuals increase the possibility of epidemic disease. However Google qualifies this tax as a discrimination against homosexuals. Thus, Google pay more their homosexual employee to struggle with higher tax payment. More and more people help homosexual peole to protect their rights. It can be said that the perception of tolerance has adapted for a good way from the past to at this time by looking these examples.
The third important area why the understanding of tolerance for the better is religion. From the past to the present , there are lots of minor and major religions appear. Some of them reach massive scale, some of them didn’t protect their existence and disappeared. However, there is a crucial thing that affects the whole humanity , is conflict between religions. Firstly, in the past, a great deal of causeless war occurred, like the Crusades. Plenty of people suffered from religious problems like the Jews. However, today people live with different people whose religions different from other’s and they more respectful when compared to the past. They don’t interfere each other’s traditions and lifestyle.
For example, Zekeriya Altuğ, chairman of the Hamburg branch of DITIB states that Germany has about 4 million Muslims, mostly of Turkish origin, in its 82 million population. Long treated as migrant workers due eventually to return to their countries of origin, they are now an established minority that wants equal rights so the State of Hamburg made the Islam governmental religion so that the Muslims bayrams also became legal holidays. Muslims celebrate these bayrams in mostly Christian society and Christians are respectful Muslims traditions. Secondly, in the business and school environment people also respect other’s religion.
Today most of workplace and schools include different sanctuary. Every person can pray through their beliefs in their sanctuary. To illustrate, in Turkey Bilkent University has loads of foreign students and teachers.İhsan Doğramacı who was chancellor of Bilkent University, had Doğramacızade Ali Sami Paşa Mosque built. This mosque also contain church and synagogues .Therefore, these foreign students and teachers can pray in their own sanctuary. Thus it can be commented by concluding that the religious intolerant has altered in some perceptions well.
In conclusion, todays conception of tolerance is utterly different from the pasts viewpoint in some features. If it is compared these days and yesterdays family structure, racial, sexual and religious perceptions, it can be said that the definition of tolerance has shifted for a better way through looking examples. Although the percantage of divorce, seperation, and cohibitation is increasig, these changing family structure doesn’t make any difference on family ties because families more concious about raising children.Underdogs gained more independence by new tolerance perception. After this, they have been accepted as citizens by majority. Hence, it can be said that the definition of tolerance has changed for the better.
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