Books, Ideas & Lofty Goals
We hear the word Tolerance a lot. It’s revered as the pinnacle of policies, the mark of a civilised society. But when I think about the verb, Tolerate, it brings negative connotations to mind. We merely tolerate things that we don’t particularly like.
Is this the best a society has to offer: to grit our teeth and endure those who hold different beliefs or propagate different ideas to us? It hardly seems like a lofty goal!
Yet, to quote Marilynne Robinson, “History could make a stone weep”. We stand in the dark shadow cast down the ages through wars and crusades that have divided humanity over worldviews. Perhaps Tolerance is a lofty goal.
Our politicians think so. But politicians are not cultural leaders, they are culture followers. It is those in the Arts who are cultural leaders, forging new ideas in creative ways that appeal to the masses. My book club has found that 90% of the novels we read have something to say about worldviews.
My aim is to encourage inquiry and break down the taboo of talking about worldviews. The best method I can think of to do this is Socrates’ approach to philosophy. He would go to the city square not to preach or lecture or instruct, but to ask questions and nurture discussion.
So I invite you and your friends to consider Galvanize Press the city square where you can come and listen to what others have to say, to join the discussion if you have a question or insight to share, or even better, to continue the discussion in person.
Maybe then we will come to see worldviews for what they really are: a set of presuppositions, of beliefs and doubts that help us to make sense of the joys and sorrows of life. In our pursuit to make sense of life humanity is united, even if in our conclusions we are divided.
Of course the risk of being open to what others have to say is that we may be forced to defend, amend, or abandon the worldview which we hold dear. And if my experiment should fail, I only hope the good people of the blogosphere will spare me the Hemlock Socrates was forced to drink.
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