Individualism Vs Relativism

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The ideas of Locke and progressive enlightenment thinkers were very influential upon modern liberalism and to a large extent informs the US constitution and Liberal Democracy in general. The idea that the individual good is beneficial to the collective has been part of a laissez faire branch of liberalism, free markets mean the ‘best’ producers and products rise to the top, in this respect socialism and the collective give way to freedom of choice and consumerism . Some critics argue that this has been detrimental to societies, it is often argued that for example the real meaning of Christmas has been replaced by excessive and often damaging consumption, now Santa Claus and not Jesus that becomes the main symbol. Critics such as John Rawls…show more content…
To Taylor to dismiss these groups has parallels with colonialisms dismissal of the cultures of indigenous peoples. In this respects Liberalism just as prior western ideas is viewed as thinking itself universal and that which falls outside of its parameters as archaic, wrong at its worst and only tolerated at best in effect reverse discrimination. Here Taylor views the ideas of such as Rawls to be overly individualistic and liberalism as a culturally bound idea itself with secularism as doctrine of difference blindness (Sward) .The relevance of religion with the liberal world can be demonstrated by views on abortion, with liberalism having promoted women's rights and pro-choice often in opposition to the catholic position of pro-life. Religion in this respect does impact upon political life and in the USA pro-life have at times gone to extreme measures in opposition such as killing doctors that have performed abortions. Rawls in his later writings qualifies his position that while democracy needs to factor in reasonable plurality, contracts could be made within each plurality so long as they are reasonable and fit within a democratic framework. It suggests that this shall be fulfilled by rational people, it would argued that aspects of religion are not reasonable rather dogmatic and extreme as is the case of violence towards pro-choice advocates would be unjust in a democratic society, but when abiding by law religious groups can add valuable contribution to the debate and should be free to express opinion.
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