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01/05/2015

1AG - Only through honest dialogue can one begin to understand the “other”

2015-05-01 AGThe tragic events in various parts of the world that bring bloodshed and unjust deaths reopen debate about the clash of civilizations, religious wars, and on some occasions, the decline of the West. Even outside of its darkest moments we can acknowledge that relations between the West, Islamic and Jewish traditions are complex; they have bloodied many pages in the chaotic existential tale of humanity.

No clash of civilizations
The “clash of civilizations” is the clash between the culture of the Commentary and culture of Criticism. It is a clash between tradition steeped in wisdom and those disenchanted by modernity. Each nation is called to defend against oppression while preserving the gains made in political, social and civil rights. Rights that protect the individual, rights that affirm juridical equality between among people regardless of their sexual preference, ethnicity or religious practice. Every violation of human rights is a step back in the hope of creating an inclusive world open to everyone.

People submit themselves2015-05-01bis AG
It is useful to focus on the true clash of civilizations underway. Namely, that of multiethnic circles and trans-religious groups of the powerful and the rest of the world's population. The exploitation of one over the multitude. The decline of global civilizations compared to the basic rules of economics and labor.The clash concerns the real impediment to the unique goal of civilization for mankind: the definitive emancipation from any form of power. The action of power is always the same: subjugating people by exploiting the work of the masses and depriving them of rights and freedom. This is ultimately the only terrorist act before us; it does not require use of a Kalashnikov in the theaters of war, but is done with the strokes of petty laws in the parliaments of the many democracies of the world. It’s the same old story, a tiring one if it wasn’t already so tragic.
2015-05-01ter AGThere is no true comparison!
The only way to recreate spaces of true humanity is have true and fruitful dialogue that is based in our identity. Being different is an essential prerequisite for any kind of meeting; any attempt at frivolous relativization of the differences in the name of a mistaken romantic sense of brotherhood irreparably compromises the authenticity of the relationship. It requires moving beyond oneself, of reaching out to the Other, to listen to him. To know the Other we must respect him and allow him his time to speak. We must risk being altered by the “otherness.” This dialogue, like any communication, is a risk. A serious dialogue conducted in truth does not leave its participants unchanged, but transforms and renders one more human.

Rinaldo Paganelli SCJ