I posted a short note to the Facebook/Habermas Page, which caused a short comment, which I responded to lengthily. Me:
I get occasional notices from Facebook indicating that people haven't heard from me lately. Let me say: I won't bother you with anything not important for Habermasian studies, and I don't have anything new to offer yet. But I'm not dead.The comment to that which caused me to feel I had something to offer, in fidelity to Habermas, was “I would love if you would argue your case of ‘legitimating values in between religions’ a little more, because it’s very difficult to hold the point of rationality today.”
I’m highly confident that Habermas would agree with my response. My question-filled tone below may seem pretentious. But an implicit value I express is that it’s not for any one of us to have the answer to questions which might engage anyone (though I may sound as if I have the answers).
At some future date, I want to—I will—dwell with specifics of Habermas’s recent views on religious life, expressed in his Postmetaphysical Thinking II.
about “legitimating values between religions”
Ilona Schmitz comments “I would love if you would argue your case of ‘legitimating values inbetween religions’ a little more, because it’s very difficult to hold the point of rationality today.”
Agreed, about the difficulty. We need a living sense of values that holds sacred a humanitarian, humanistic fidelity to our shared humanity.
What is the “nature” of our shared humanity of all of us that we can stand for, in daily life, and can advance through our cultural politics? What is the universality in humanism that may be found in the heart of all sacredness, across all cultures?
It’s an issue also lived by all interfaith organizations: Being well is valued by everyone. Advancing community is valued by everyone.
How to legitimate values across faiths is also an issue between ethnicities that fuels the difficulties of the European Union acting as a singularity in exemplary fashion. Can an interfaith E.U. gain a constitutional sense of becoming a United States of Europe (which has been Habermas’s dream)?
What language will heal tendencies toward nationalism?
Can there be an effective African Union? Can there be an effective union of South American nations? Asian Union? Humanistic union joining all regions, all faiths?
Can there be a United Nations whose humanitarian ethos prevails in wars—then makes offensive military action inconceivable? Can there be a Security Council whose unimpeachable fidelity to the humanity of humanity ensures that our security serves human flourishing?
Ultimately, our shared humanity lives a singular nature of our one planet.
“There is no planet B.”
We live to be well. And we live to leave a better world for our children, or we don’t.
We are all beings facing the reality expressed by an old Native American principle: “We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our heirs.”
Further views of mine from earlier years may be useful. But they don’t form a basis for a well-ordered, general discussion of Habermas’s discursive inquiries: “religion in the public sphere” (group of postings under that mid-page header).