Happy 80th Birthday Jürgen Habermas!

Jürgen Habermas, whose powerful account of deliberative democracy every one should study at some point, turns 80 today.  Here are some remarks they got from him about current events:

‘Politics ridicules itself if it moralizes, instead of basing itself on the coercive right of the democratic lawmaker”

‘In most countries of the continent there are sleeping majorities in favour of further consolidation of the EU,’ Habermas said in 2007.

Habermas said, Bush had made the world ‘less safe.’ However he has always stressed that his criticism ‘doesn’t have the slightest overtone of anti-American sentiment.’

Western and Islamic leaders have paid attention to Habermas’ views on the role of religion and state.

‘Tolerance and the separation of state and religious power certainly demand an act of adjustment by the large religious communities,’ Habermas said.

The philosopher said Islam had enough vitality to tackle this challenge, but warned, ‘any intercultural dialogue is futile if it comes without the clear willingness to bring political justice to the globalized economy.’

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.