Finding Common Ground

I am currently teaching an Introduction to Ethics class. It is quite interesting to engage with the students seeking to pull from them their ideas, values, understandings while hoping they assimilate the technical language of ethical theories.

I have in this class a young man full of life and ideologies. He is a passionate wonderful young man and if he and I were to fill out a conservative to liberal line graph, we would find ourselves at opposite ends.

In class recently this young man says, “Our society is going in the wrong direction. We have become permissive and allow people to do bad things.” Guess what? I AGREE!

But how he and I analyze this statement, or how we identify the “why” of this statement will greatly differ.

He says this based on gay rights, reproductive choice and a lack of “God” in our schools, which is much different than why I say it. I say it based on the devaluation of women, the poor, the “other.” I say it based on the power systems that are corrupt and exist in schools, businesses, and churches. I say it based on the exploitation of people, relationships and things that are holy and sacred.

How do we find a way to meet with such different ideas of what makes our society broken? How do we find a way come to the table as one humanity seeking a common goal of living in peace?

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