Monday, July 25, 2005

USING OUR MORAL IMAGINATIONS FOR MORAL ALTERNATIVES


One of the problems that I have with the whole liberal-conservative political arguments is that there is often times a failure to use our imaginations to solve problems. We resort to rhetoric and argument.

I admit that I am not special or unique to this. My moral and political imagination is flabby and needs to be exercised too. When I spoke up and said that I was against our going to war in Iraq a few years ago I was often asked what alternative I would propose. I never had a good response for creative alternatives. But I knew that the alternatives are out there. The problem that I see is that individual alternatives don't really matter- it'll take communities rooted in certain practices and traditions to offer the alternatives and then live them out.

So what might an alternative look like? Maybe its really really small. Maybe the alternatives are varied and many. I read an article today. It began like this:

"July 25 - An Islamic organization has launched a national campaign that proposes an expansion of Muslim youth in scouting as one way to combat terrorist ideology, violence and extremism within the American Muslim community."

I wonder if our leaders looked for more imaginative and creative alternatives to WAR on Terror what might happen. I wonder if we could plant these kinds of seeds all over the world? There have to be folks all over the world throughout all the world's relgions that could be inspired to plant seeds such as this.

read U.S. Islamic Group Launches Campaign to Combat Home-Grown Terrorism in its entirety here.

Practice planting seeds this week and pray for good fruit.

shalom,
jonathon

6 comments:

John said...

In terms of practical policymaking, it is completely fair to ask of the naysayer, "What are the alternatives?"

And the end of the day, you have to do something.

St.Phransus said...

I dont disagree with your statement- what I'm saying is that the alternatives come out of a group of people holding a shared value (ie "War is incompatible with Christian teaching) and then coming up with a process and plan to counter what's being done.

If I just hold the opinion that war is wrong AND offer my idea of an alternative- well, its not effective nor does it do anything to solve the problems.

gavin richardson said...

i've been asking for this creative/imaginative alternative for some time for many things. agreed, we always turn to the general rhetoric or simple ideas.

postmodernegro said...

jonathan,

it seems our muslim brothers and sisters are using their moral imagination to the chagrin of realist assumptions and policies. If your imagination and world are more determined by the will to power I think it will prove more than challenging to use your imagination the way our muslim brothers and sisters are here.

Thanks for posting this. Its very encouraging.

Ant

St.Phransus said...

here here, ant.

Lorna said...

"it was inviting people into a small group that practiced their faith together."

you commented this on another blog, but I couldn't comment on it cos I don't have a blogger account.

but wanted to say that I think this was a beautiful way to write it. *practiced their faith together*.. oh for more of that

PS I can't read your blog as the white on black and small font is too hard on my eyes. But I liked the pictures and the titles. Bless your writing