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ReligionPoliticsHandout09 - Rel 261/Gregory...

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Rel 261/Gregory Multiculturalism, Liberalism, and Christian Ethics “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line” (WEB Dubois) “The diversity of reasonable religious, philosophical and moral doctrines found in democratic societies is a permanent feature of the public culture and not a mere historical condition soon to pass away” (John Rawls) “The ideal of citizenship imposes a moral, not a legal, duty—the duty of civility—to be able to explain to one another…how the principles and policies they advocate and vote for can be supported by the political values of public reason.” (John Rawls) What’s wrong with “Idea of Public Reason”? (1) Impractical and philosophically wrong-headed. Our rational justifications are relative to epistemic or cognitive context. (2) Historically naïve . Religious convictions have inspired some of the most democratic episodes in public life. (3) Strategically self-defeating . Sterilizing public speech will not alleviate, and may fuel, the very real political dangers of religious convictions—especially via resentment and alienation. It is better to put these arguments in full view of public scrutiny.
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