lundi, octobre 31, 2011

Jonathan Chaplin: Public Reasoning

"Talking God: 
The Legitimacy of Religious Public Reasoning"
by Jonathan Chaplin 
(Director of The Kirby Laing Institute For Christian Ethics - KLICE)

 Aiste a tha air a mholadh gu mòr do neach sam bith aig a bheil ùidh ann a bhith cur air adhart bheachdan Crìosdaidh ann an deasbadan poilitigeach no poblach. 
Fìor bhuntainneas ri suidheachadh na h-Alba aig an àm seo.

Highly recommended reading for anyone concerned with presenting Christian views in political or public forums. 
Very relevant to current Scottish context.

Quotes from extended article:  
The restraints that liberal secularists would impose on religious reasons are discriminatory. Religious reasons in politics have as much civic legitimacy as secular ones.
The stock secularist response – that secular moral visions are “rational” whereas religious ones aren’t – just doesn’t stand up.
Faith perspectives, then, may quite legitimately be brought explicitly into play in political debates, even in venues like Parliament, insofar as they bear upon public policies which are thought to promote the public good. Archbishop Tutu’s confession that black South Africans were “created in the image of God” advanced the public good because it spoke immediately and forcefully to a very specific public good question: the injustice of the legislation maintaining apartheid. If the speaker genuinely seeks to explain why his favoured policy advances the public good, then he does not violate any civic duty by also explaining how his public good reasons flow out of his faith-based reasons. But at this point a tricky question remains: may a faith-based reason be appealed to as the only justifying reason? Could there, in other words be “public justification by faith alone”? Again, given the logic of the model being proposed, it is hard to see how this could be deemed constitutionally illegitimate, even though, for the reasons mentioned already, it may not be very advantageous.
The goal is to give up the chimera of establishing “neutral ground” and instead work towards exploring the possibility of “mutual ground” – from which each participant can speak from faith and be heard in good faith.
Finally, if they [liberal secularists] could also bring themselves to acknowledge that secularism is a faith akin to that of religion, a more elevated and constructive debate might emerge than we sometimes see rehearsed even in our more sophisticated broadsheet columns.
The hope is that we can move beyond a situation in which religious citizens constantly feel the need to justify their faith-based interventions in political debate while secular-minded citizens just get on with the job unburdened by such a task.
pdf download of (recommended) extended article available HERE  
- Host page HERE
pdf download of brief version HERE  
- Host page HERE (This item at "Spring 2009 Vol 13 No. 5")