© Roger M Tagg 2009 revised 2010
Welcome to FROLIO – a new attempt to merge philosophy and the "semantic web" . This website is under continuing development.
This essay is still very provisional.
If the question is, can there be a total consensus on all issues, the answer is surely no.
We all have different balances of interests, as well as our own emotions, instincts and natural tendencies. So we will not be starting from the same point of view. There can be competition for scarce resources, for example if there is only one scholarship available and several candidates.
The issue becomes "how do we work towards a consensus, and how do we resolve the fact that some people may lose out?". Time may not be available for indefinite discussion - eventually, opportunities may be lost, or the value of any result to anyone reduces with time.
Achieving the best for a group with different agendas therefore becomes a highly skilled art. Some people may play games, make threats (e.g. of withdrawal, or violence) or otherwise upset the process.
Personally, I reject this idea. Because I believe that the Good is transcendent, I feel that we can have useful discussions about value.
The difficulty arises in practical situations, because some players are trying to avoid commitment to the consensus.
In any judgment of value, the bigger problem is to be clear in which dimensions, and on which scales, we are making comparisons. So we must first state our criteria. From my viewpoint, I would suggest the following:
Other people will disagree on this list - they may reject some of the above, or want more emphasis on "rules" and "absolutes", e.g. "abortion is wrong in all cases".
If we can agree on the criteria (which is very hard), then judging each religion is not so hard.
For further discussion, take a look at the essays on Religion and Some "Natural" Human Tendencies.
Index to more of these diatribes
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This version updated on 30th January 2010
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