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Saturday, April 11, 2015

living peacefully....a libertarian chat about Indiana's new law

Tolerance lies at the core of the libertarian worldview. Living peacefully with each other means accepting our differences and allowing others to engage in behavior that we might dislike but that does not harm third parties. “Anything that’s peaceful” is our lodestar, as Leonard Read often reminded us. Such tolerance does not require that we associate with people we disagree with, only that we leave them in peace. And this idea cuts to the core of the debate in Indiana.
If, like me, you think that gays and lesbians are not doing anything harmful to anyone, and that they should be treated just like other human beings, you might call the behavior of those who refuse to, for example, provide photography services at a same-sex marriage “intolerant.” Perhaps it is, but those who have such views are not engaged in any attempt to prevent gays and lesbians from getting married — or anything else — by refusing to provide them with a service. They are, in fact, tolerating them, but also refusing to associate with them. Tolerance does not mandate association.