Home > PUBLICATIONS & RESOURCES > PAPERS >

What would a community of shared future for mankind look like in the area of human rights
December 22,2017   By:André van der Braak
 
Building Bridges
 
How to build bridges across various world traditions in order to come to a global consensus on shared norms? Hogan stresses that although there are many routes to human flourishing, there are important overlapping moral expectations within different cultures. With regard to articulating such overlapping moral expectations, Hogan believes “that an incremental consensus on human rights norms can be generated on the basis of what Kwame Appiah calls “incompletely theorized agreements” (Appiah 2001: 108) – that is, through processes that defend and promote human rights but without committing participants to any specific high doctrine or to any particular metaphysical or epistemological position” (Hogan 2015: 121). Such an approach allows for the richness of moral languages, metaphors and images to be used in the articulation of such a consensus, in the context of an inclusive, tradition-thick, cross-cultural and interreligious engagement and dialogue.
 
Today, around the globe there is a  resurgence of religious faith, and a renewed visibility for the moral languages and traditions of the different religions. What role will the different religions play in such a cross-cultural and interreligious dialogue? There is a range of different possibilities. At one extreme, there is the confidence with which many Christian missionaries speak about the truth of the Christian message. At the other extreme, the secularist assumptions of Western liberalism would grant religion a private but not a public role. However, even if the public square would be acknowledged as religiously plural rather than neutral, will the different religions have the capacity to engage in the kind of open dialogue and debate that is needed? 
 
Conclusion
 
With regard to the task of building a community of shared future for mankind in the field of international human rights, it is important to take into account the many obstacles that have been discussed in this paper. One important aspect in this is to broaden our view of human rights.