Western Myths about Pluralism: The Real Basis of Civil Rights – Vinoth Ramachandra

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“On the 30th of April, 1999, during the Nato bombing of Serbia, Vaclev Havel, Czech president/philosopher, addressed both houses of the Canadian Parliament.  And in his speech Havel shared his conviction that the greatest political challenge of the 21st century would be to get all the nations states of the world to recognize limits on their national sovereignty; that all states need to submit to the rule of international law, based on the concept of universal human rights.  At the conclusion of Havel’s speech, he said these words, ‘I have often asked myself why human beings have any rights at all.  I always come to the conclusion that human rights, human freedoms and human dignity have their deepest roots somewhere outside the perceptible world.  These values make sense only in the perspective of the infinite and the eternal.  Allow me to conclude my remarks on the state and its likely role in the future with the assertion that while the state is a human creation, human beings are the creation of God.’”

Thus begins Mr. Ramachandra’s well articulated and provocative lecture given back in 2002 at Berkeley.  If you are a fan of Ravi Zacharius and enjoy his style of speaking, especially the way he organizes his material, then I very much suspect that you’ll appreciate this lecture.

Besides being a good listen, I could see using this as a springboard for further discussion, especially in a seeker group context or small group where unbelievers are encouraged to attend.  Civil rights is a timely issue.  And when it comes to grounding human worth in something objective, the issue is truly timeless.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Must Listen Factor:  Moderate to high.  Moderate when I think of the average person facing their busy schedule.  High for scavengers.

Download audio, Western Myths about Pluralism: The Real Basis of Civil Rights.  See Picture.

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