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Keywords:

  • moral relativism;
  • pluralism;
  • tolerance;
  • clash of cultures;
  • reasonable pluralism;
  • overlapping consensus;
  • comparative ethics

ABSTRACT

This paper argues that from an ethical point of view tolerance, which is simply one of a number of possible responses to ethical pluralism, is not an acceptable ideal. It fails to acknowledge and appreciate the good in other forms of life and thereby does not adequately respect the people who live these lives. Toleration limits the range of goods we might appreciate in our own lives and in the lives of those we care most about, and it tends to lead to a number of deformations or personal failures of character. In place of tolerance, we should embrace ethical promiscuity—a view that not only acknowledges ethical pluralism but also offers good reasons to celebrate this state of affairs.