Fratelli Tutti 211: Consensus And Truth

What is the best way to achieve respect? Insurance companies, managers, and HR departments will send people to sensitivity training. Maybe teaching people to dialogue and then sending them to do it would be better. What do you think?

Consensus and truth

211. In a pluralistic society, dialogue is the best way to realize what ought always to be affirmed and respected apart from any ephemeral consensus. Such dialogue needs to be enriched and illumined by clear thinking, rational arguments, a variety of perspectives and the contribution of different fields of knowledge and points of view. Nor can it exclude the conviction that it is possible to arrive at certain fundamental truths always to be upheld. Acknowledging the existence of certain enduring values, however demanding it may be to discern them, makes for a robust and solid social ethics. Once those fundamental values are acknowledged and adopted through dialogue and consensus, we realize that they rise above consensus; they transcend our concrete situations and remain non-negotiable. Our understanding of their meaning and scope can increase – and in that respect, consensus is a dynamic reality – but in themselves, they are held to be enduring by virtue of their inherent meaning.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Fratelli Tutti 211: Consensus And Truth

  1. Liam says:

    Unless dialoguers share enough assumptions (which are pre-logical, and can’t be argued logically) about the nature of reality (metaphysics) and how human beings know (epistemology), dialogue as an initial step may be a step towards frustration and worse. Instead, doing things together without an agenda of persuasion may be a more fruitful initial step, because it may help seed a foundation of trust that must even precede assumptions before dialogue.

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