Sustainable Civilization by Klaas van Egmond (auth.)

By Klaas van Egmond (auth.)

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By Klaas van Egmond (auth.)

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Because the human being, from moral motivation, transcends the causal sensory world, he is also ‘free’. In today’s language, the categorical imperative can still be heard in the saying ‘do not do unto others what you would not want to be done unto you’. This stance is a representation of the ‘golden rule’, forming a social contract based on a balance of power. Under a voluntary adherence to legal restraint, everyone has less, but still as much personal freedom as is possible to realize their own personal interests.

This, in Habermas’ view, could only take place within a communicative process in which public opinion shapes itself. It is a common good that does not automatically exist, but something that would only be accessible through the communal efforts engaged in finding it. Both were of the opinion that, in addition to a democratic system, other things also would be required. Habermas, however, recoiled from the idea of yet again imposing standards of social cohesion on people. His response represents the current ‘post-modern’ view that such a ‘grand narrative’ through which individuals and society as a whole are provided with direction and meaning has, over the past millennia, only led to disaster.

One-sidedness is the biggest enemy of all worldviews, and should be avoided above all else. In fact, we should strive for ‘all-sidedness’. Wilber’s quadrant schematic More recently, American philosopher Wilber21 formulated an integral philosophy that resulted in a schematic of four quadrants, representing the ‘functions of evolution’. These quadrants form two axes, the first of which is based on the part–whole contrast, translated into the individual versus the collective. 2, between the lower left (exterior) and the upper left (interior).

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