Before he was elected to become the Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had been working as a University professor for many years, and even today he looks onto this task in a passionate way. In this article, we examine some of the Discourses and Letters focused on education that Pope Benedict XVI has addressed during the first four years of Papacy, in which the once professor, deals with matters in tight relation with education, its specific end, the difficulties that education has to face nowadays, and its main causes. These texts can be considered as valuable contributions in order to understand some aspects of the present educational crisis, that Benedict XVI describes as a moment of educational emergency".
Correctly understood, toleration means respect for people, but not satisfaction with mistake or fault. Nowadays it often takes a different meaning. The dominant discourse on toleration speaks a double language: 1) "people live in the way they want", 2) "this is the way you have to live". About the first aspect (the reduction of truth to opinion) three arguments are developed by the author: a) the dominant meaning of toleration falls into relativism; b) this kind of relativism encloses people into themselves; c) so understood, toleration gives no sense to liberty. With regard to the second aspect (the unequal equality of opinions) the paper focuses on two main ideas: a) radical toleration or freedom destroy at the end themselves; b) in fact, a "double standard" is involved in the spirit of our days, on the one hand it affirms a total freedom, the equality of every opinion; on the other, it sets new rules, it says which opinions are better. The great success of the late modernity has been making toleration a way of conformity.
This article shows a very frequent confusion concerning the concept of toleration. It is often identified as the due respect for the opinions and behaviour of others, even though they may differ from ours. The author suggests that the authentic mind of toleration is referred to the acceptance of the "lesser evil", but stressing the notion of "lesser" rather than "evil".
This attitude is unyielding to the concept of respect, whose aim is something good in itself: the human being, no matter his/her opinions or conduct. Such confusion is lethal for the restoration of a culture of dialogue, so necessary nowadays to solve the current concerns of world-wide violence and multiculturalism.
Key words: Toleration, Relativism, Truth, Dialogue, Pluralism, Multiculturalism.
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