Chalk and Cheese

Excellent edition of Start The Week this morning guided by Andrew Marr, in stark contrast to John Humphrys’ incompetence interviewing his victims on the Today programme immediately before. Let’s hope we can forget Humphrys and talk about the balanced Religion vs Politics discussion between Stanley Hauerwas, Mary Warnock, Ray Tallis and John Gummer.

Note Start The Week is not podcast, so you’ll need to catch the repeat this evening.

Too much to summarize effectively beyond The Golden Rule / Stewardship / Human Nature being the fundamentals, but given the dangers of “dichotomising a continuum” and the apparent breadth of positions across these four, a very successful debate with much balance and agreement (and jokes from Hauerwas). Despite focussing initially on life and death (assisted termination – both start and end of life cases) it managed to get itself onto transcendent moral principles. Even Gummer, one in a long and intriguing line of Catholic converts, had the main point that the real problem was any one of them believing they had a monopoly on sense when it comes to the fundamentals. In fact the real debate is how to fit agreement on fundamentals into world governance without the slippery slope away from “the sanctity of life” and “the way of truth” being a part of it – checks and balances. (Theocracy clearly isn’t it, thank god. religion has no place in politics.)

“When Bush came to power I concluded he was sincere about his Christian faith. I also concluded it showed how little sincerity had to do with Christianity.” Hauerwas.

The only view missing from the debate was a PoPoMo like Zizek or Eagleton maybe. Agreement is quite straighforward when people stop demanding straighforward answers to simplistic questions – you listening Humphrys – in all these debates on fairness and priorities ? (Example – why is cybercrime significant ? System complexity that’s why. Ranking four political priorities in a list – Terorrism, Cybercrime, Natural Disaster and Foreign War – is a childish exercise if the list doesn’t recognize the holistic moral system they are all a part of.)

4 thoughts on “Chalk and Cheese”

  1. In Cameron’s speech to on Tuesday (to the CBI i think, but not sure), he let slip that he is not a creationist – I’m sure in the US that this would have been leapt on as a “gaff.” I believe he was comparing the difficulty of controlling the state of the economy in a year’s time to the (accepted) inconciveability of the Great Barrier Reef being designed. It made my ears prick as it sounded a deliberate phrase, but as yet no-one has picked it up.

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