And here is what happened when we threw all that away

“I think that the rhetoric we Westerners use in trying to get everybody to be more like us would be improved if we were more frankly ethnocentric and less professedly universal. It would be better to say, ‘here is what we in the West look like as a result of ceasing to hold slaves, beginning to educate women, separating church and state, and so on. Here is what happened after we began treating certain distinctions between people as arbitrary rather than fraught with moral significance. If you would try treating them that way, you might like the result’. Saying that sort of thing seems preferable to saying, ‘look at how much better we Westerners are at knowing what differences between persons are arbitrary and which not, how much more rational we are’. If we Westerners could get rid of the notion of universal moral obligation created by membership in the species, and substitute the idea of building a community of trust between ourselves and others, we might be in a better position to persuade non-Westerners of the advantages of joining such a community.” – Richard Rorty, “Justice as a Larger Loyalty” (emphasis in original)

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