The concept of tolerance appears to have two meanings. In the scientific field it refers to the margin of error inherent in any investigative study. And in the field of human interaction it refers to the ability to accept that others feel strongly about a view you oppose.
But the meanings are the same, they both amount to a willingness to accept that your most firmly held beliefs might be wrong, and to accept that, if you are shown good enough evidence, a good enough argument, then the only reasonable response is to adapt your stance.
I have always been strongly opposed to the concept of judicial execution, the idea that some crimes can justify the calculated official killing of the perpetrator. One of the pillars of that belief has been that this sentence can not bring back the victim, and can not serve any useful purpose.
Norman Tebbit has today written something that has rocked that pillar.
“I have kept track year by year since the death penalty was suspended then abolished of the number of people who have been killed by persons previously convicted of homicide. It has averaged three people a year. About 150 people killed because their killers have been freed to kill again.”
I never thought of it like that.