Reasonable Pluralism

The world we live in today consists of people belonging to different religions, castes, places, people who speak different languages, have differing political opinions and the list goes on. Human beings are unique in their thinking as well as the way they express their thoughts. They are inherently different so many ways and sometimes conflicts can arise between people due to this. But having difference of opinion always does not necessarily mean it is bad or it can end up in conflicts, it can sometimes give insight into how differently and parallelly things work in the other paradine. 

This can result in Political Liberalism, where people are more attentive and acceptable of other people’s religion and are not ethnocentric. This is what John Rawls talks about, he brings in the idea of Political Liberalism where he claims that people who are reasonable would have a liberal approach towards the differing views. And hence the idea that conflicts or fights will happen between people because of their differences is flawed. 

People who hold different comprehensive doctrines can only be acceptable of others differences if they are reasonable. This is what Rawls point out in his study, he says that people living in a society, if they are reasonable people and rational in thinking and attitudes. 

Rawls talks about ‘Reasonable Pluralism’ where people are accommodative of other people’s differences and views. Even though people are inherently different and have different ideas and beliefs people choose to understand them and let this not cause a divide between them. It instead made people more accommodative of these changes and will make them more cosmopolitan in approach. 

This is how Political Liberalism comes into play, people who are liberal and rational tend to understand these diversities and learn to be more adaptive of these differences. This is termed as overlapping consensus. A term used to define the consensus between people having different opinions and view points but are still accommodative of each other. Rawls believed that this would only happen if people were reasonable enough to understand these differences in its moral sense. 

Although this idea behind Rawls is really good, the problem here is that he only takes into account the reasonable citizens. He never accounts for people whose thinking lies beyond reasonable one. Hence, we cannot really say if this is applicable to everyone in the state. Flawless his theory was but it failed to capture people with different perspectives and opinions as different from the crowd of reasonable people. This is one of the major problems which has gone unanswered.

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