[325] Human Rights Dialogue
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[325] Human Rights Dialogue

Nicholas Wolterstorff, in Justice: Rights and Wrongs, urges believers to join the secular discussions of human rights, rather than yield the floor to non-believers.  Furthermore, this participation need not merely be an attempt to convince secularists of our point of view but rather to engage in what Wolterstorff calls “dialogical pluralism.” Dialogical pluralism is an art of listening intently to alternative views with an eye toward “appropriation”–realizing we might actually learn some things from the views of others.

According to Wolterstorff, the Christian has nothing to fear in engaging in this type of dialogue, because we believe that the only real basis for human rights is grounded in theology, one that holds that each person’s worth lies in her being in the image of God and loved by her creator.

I really like this approach, if only because it enables believers and non-believers to discuss major issues without beginning from what is too often a hostile, we-they stance.  This is not to say there will not be profound disagreements, but any hope for peace and tolerance lies in people’s willingness to engage one another’s ideas rather than condemn them from a distance, creating only animosity. DC


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