Arquivo para February 16th, 2022

Tolerance, War and Peace

16 Feb

It grew even more in the midst of the pandemic, which forced us into involuntary seclusion, a kind of intolerance to the Other, what in current philosophy has been called the exclusion of the Other, Habermas, Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Lévinas among others wrote about it, and more currently Byung Chul Han.

In the Enlightenment, Voltaire had already written something similar in his “Philosophical Dictionary”: “What is tolerance? It is the prerogative of humanity. We are all full of weaknesses and errors; let us mutually forgive each other our follies, such is the first law of nature.” (VOLTAIRE, 1978, p. 290)

At the time the book was banned from circulation in France such was the intolerance between Catholics and Protestants, and it was this that led Voltaire to call them maniacs.

The Illuminist affirmed that “without tolerance” the world would continue to be disordered, as he continued, and radicalizes it by saying: “the best way to reduce the number of maniacs, if there are still any, is to entrust this disease of the spirit to the regime of reason, which slow, but infallibly enlightens men” (idem), he believed this because it was characteristic of the spirit of enlightenment and religion in his time, due to the division between the Christians of the Reformation and the Catholics, were intolerant, contrary to the gospel they preached about forgiveness. and mercy.

On the religious question, John Locke changes the argument to defend religious tolerance, starting precisely from the separation between State and Church and establishing different functions for each of these institutions, as well as their own powers to carry out their due functions, but it took two wars. for the concept to mature.

The issue of religious tolerance was established in the Westphalian Peace Treaty, historic for international relations, which were actually two treaties in the German cities of Münster and Osnabrück, in 1648, putting an end to the so-called Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) in which religious disputes led to inter-kingdom struggles.

The Declaration of Principles on Tolerance was adopted on November 16, 1995 by UNESCO Member States, it states that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference and suggests “respect and appreciation for the rich variety of cultures of the world”. world and forms of expression”, taking a different look at different cultures and religions.

Voltaire’s maniacs can now be translated as fanatics, defenders of territories and power, motivations of the first and second world wars, where the territories led to tensions between the Triple Entente (also known as Allies: France, United Kingdom and Russia) and the Triple Alliance (which were the Central Powers: Germany, Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire), the reduced territories of Germany and the expanded territories of Russia and France, the region of Alsace-Lorraine will be disputed by Germany) will fuel the future second world war , and these poorly made treaties will lead to new territorial disputes, see the case of Finland (which was established as neutral towards Russia) as the case cited in Putin’s recent conversation with Macron about the current Ukraine crisis, which could be a kind of “Finnish solution”, in the last hours there was a small withdrawal of troops from Russia in frontiers.

Any treaty now needs to have secure foundations, the idea that a “new world order” is underway hides expansionist desires and political intolerance.


VOLTAIRE. (1978) Dicionário Filosófico. 2 ed. Trad. Marilena Chauí. São Paulo: Abril Cultural, (Collection: Os Pensadores, Thinkers).

LOCKE, J. (2019) Carta sobre a Tolerância (Edição bilíngue Latim-Português) Tradução Fábio Fortes e Wellington Ferreira Lima. Organização, introdução, notas e comentários Flavio Fontenelle Loque Belo Horizonte: Autêntica Editora.