Intolerant tolerance

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 19 (2):161-181 (1994)
The Hyde Amendment and Roman Catholic attempts to put restrictions on Title X funding have been criticized for being intolerant. However, such criticism fails to appreciate that there are two competing notions of tolerance, one focusing on the limits of state force and accepting pluralism as unavoidable, and the other focusing on the limits of knowledge and advancing pluralism as a good. These two types of tolerance, illustrated in the writings of John Locke and J.S. Mill, each involve an intolerance. In a pluralistic context f where the free exercise of religion is respected, John Locke's account of tolerance is preferable. However, it (in a reconstructed form) leads to a minimal state. Positive entitlements to benefits like artificial contraception or nontherapeutic abortions can legitimately be resisted, because an intolerance has already been shown with respect to those that consider the benefit immoral, since their resources have been coop ted by taxation to advance an end that is contrary to their own. There is a sliding scale from tolerance (viewed as forbearance) to the affirmation of communal integrity, and this scale maps on to the continuum from negative to positive rights. Keywords: church and state, Hyde Amendment, Locke, Mill, religious liberty, Title X funding, toleration CiteULike Connotea What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/19.2.161
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