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Respectful Debate

August 11, 2015


As a matter of principle, I think we should not denigrate people because we disagree with their views.


Formerly, many societies shared common cultural and religious beliefs. Nowadays most societies are pluralist. The political culture of such democratic societies is marked by a diversity of opposing and often irreconcilable, religious, philosophical and moral disciplines. It is important to realise and accept that such views can be reasonably held. Tolerance becomes a most important virtue.


For example, on the subject of abortion, some would contend that life begins at conception, others at birth, yet others somewhere in between.  All views need to be accommodated.  I do not contend that this is easy.


On Q&A on Monday, August 10, 2015, Dr. Anne Summers made a gratuitous, ad hominem attack on the Republican Presidential candidates. She criticised them for their views on abortion. It was most disappointing -  as was the audience applause.  Moreover, her comments were an irrelevant response to a question about Donald Trump's appalling behaviour. One expects better of such a well-credentialed journalist.


In the USA, there are currently about one million legal abortions each year. Approximately 20% of pregnancies end in abortion. These are seriously high numbers. It is therefore a legitimate subject for debate. Those who disagree with Anne Summers should not be denigrated as wicked and evil. Anne Summers should not assume moral superiority for her views.


For more, read my book The Fragility of Freedom: Why Subsidiarity Matters

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