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Perché la tolleranza non basta

Risposta a Scarpelli

Anno XXII, n. 99, ottobre-dicembre 1987
Centro Einaudi


Why tolerance is not enough

The arbitrariness of ethics – of which contemporary man is well aware – tends to dissolve it into historically conditioned, precarious opinions. In an attempt to right the situation, Scarpelli's paper ends up by reaffirming principles of tolerance and principles whereby no damage or harm must be caused to others. In this way, such principles would seem, in practice, to be made absolute and stripped of their questionableness. Yet today they are widely felt as being relative and arguable. And hence – also under the pressure of difficult bioethical problems – the area reserved to ethical questionableness and 'undecidability' can only grow. Only optimistic faith in historical progress – an idea which is now well behind us – could hope for a satisfactory outcome to every conflict between different, contradictory positions. In reality, however, in the fatal historical waning of ethics ungoverned by powerful moderating ideals, more and more people follow the way of drugs, of violence, of suicide – of an existence suffered passively.