Monday, 22 February 2021

Western Civilisation ...

"Values aren’t a birthright: you need to keep caring about them. Living in the West, however you define it, being Western, provides no guarantee that you will care about Western civilisation. The values European humanists like to espouse belong just as easily to an African or an Asian who takes them up with enthusiasm as to a European. By that very logic, of course, they do not belong to a European who has not taken the trouble to understand and absorb them. The same, of course, is true in the other direction. The story of the golden nugget suggests that we cannot help caring about the traditions of 'the West' because they are ours: In fact, the opposite is true. They are only ours if we care about them. A culture of liberty, tolerance, and rational inquiry: that would be a good idea. But these values represent choices to make, not tracks laid down by a Western destiny."
~ British-Ghanaian philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah from his 2016 Reith Lecture 'There Is No Such Thing As Western Civilisation'

[Hat tip Robert Tracinski]

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