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Tolerance, one of the core values of classical liberalism, involves showing deference to other people's right to engage in thoughts and behavior that one may personally disagree with, but which do not infringe anyone's rights. Ludwig von Mises explains:[1]

Liberalism limits its concern entirely and exclusively to earthly life and earthly endeavor. . . . . Liberalism, however, must be intolerant of every kind of intolerance. If one considers the peaceful cooperation of all men as the goal of social evolution, one cannot permit the peace to be disturbed by priests and fanatics. Liberalism proclaims tolerance for every religious faith and every metaphysical belief, not out of indifference for these "higher" things, but from the conviction that the assurance of peace within society must take precedence over everything and everyone. And because it demands toleration of all opinions and all churches and sects, it must recall them all to their proper bounds whenever they venture intolerantly beyond them. In a social order based on peaceful cooperation, there is no room for the claim of the churches to monopolize the instruction and education of the young. Everything that their supporters accord them of their own free will may and must be granted to the churches; nothing, may be permitted to them in respect to persons who want to have nothing to do with them.


  1. Mises, Ludwig von (1927). "Tolerance". Liberalism.