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the challenge of community...

In a self-absorbed era like our own, filled with fear and mistrust, it is a daunting challenge to try and build true community. Not impossible, by any means, but always complicated and often incomplete. Michael Ignatieff, in the recently published The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World, notes that as our world becomes ever more interconnected, globalization has yet to give rise to a shared ethic of the common good. "While we once may have thought that democratic values and human rights advance hand in hand, we are learning that the contrary may be the case. Democratic sovereignty and the moral universalism of human rights are on a collision course everywhere."

Because human beings do not agree on the Good, even though they can recognize goodness, they also disagree about who has moral standing; in other words, who is to be trusted and believed... (everywhere) democratic majorities have been rejecting universalist claims - the right of asylum in one place, the ri…

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