According to Moore, the metaphysical outlook with its dubious ontology and epistemology is a crutch that must be abandoned in favor of the scientific outlook by which we recognize that God and his metphysical surrogates are dead. Science, writes Moore, is tolerant of reason; relentlessly intolerant of unreason and sham. Moore’s endorsement of the scientific outlook is a critique of a weak and indiscriminate tolerance that in his view amounts to intellectual cowardice. To be tolerant of the Ku Klux Klan’s claim that there is a Zionist conspiracy controlling the world is, in Moore’s view, intellectually repulsive. The Klan’s view must be tested for accuracy according to scientific principles before it can be tolerated. Tolerance must be limited by science.
Moore’s argument for a genuine tolerance that is rational and scientific provides a necessary corrective for the weak version of tolerance that rejects nothing and thereby reduces everything it accepts to irrelevance. If every horse wins the race, what is the value of winning? However, as Hans Oberdiek has pointed out, Moore’s genuine tolerance presupposes skepticism (Oberdiek, Hans. Tolerance: Between Forbearance and Acceptance, 149). This presupposition equates tolerance with acceptance and only that which has been vetted by science can be accepted. However, this presupposition is unnecessary. Tolerance merely requires that the other person and their viewpoint be taken seriously in order that they can be rationally critiqued. If the Klan, for example, claims that there is a Zionist conspiracy, their claim can be taken seriously by understanding how this kind of a claim arose within our society in general and how it functions in the Klan’s organization specifically. Any criticism of the Klan’s claim must be made on the basis of this kind of analysis but this analysis does not require accepting the Klan’s claim. However, under Moore’s model, the Klan’s position would be dismissed outright as an intolerant and unscientfic viewpoint which would further isolate the Klan and galvanize their positions. Tolerance must retain a critical element that avoids what Karl Popper called the the paradox of tolerance that accepts even that which undermines tolerance but it also must be continually open to new insights that may be present in the viewpoint of the other.