The forest and the trees

Toleration is not the opposite of intolerance but the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms: the one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it.

Thomas Paine
Rights of Man (1792)

I find this statement astonishing, not because it’s something I didn’t know, but rather because it’s something I knew but simply didn’t realize. It’s so obvious that I needed to have it pointed out before I could even see it.

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