PLURALISM

A response to the fact of diversity in the community that is committed to respecting difference while at the same time pursuing the possibility of shared responses to common problems. It sees difference as a value and focuses on the search for a cosmopolitan ethic – values for guiding decisions that impact a diverse group of people that the group can agree with. It requires education about the nature and types of differences that exist within a group and then engagement where individuals and sub-groups can come together in respectful dialogue to explore the possibility of guiding values that are shared amongst the individuals and sub-groups.

Specifically, pluralism is defined as:

  1. We should believe that diversity is good
  2. We should treat all people with respect:
    a. treating them with kindness
    b. listening to their perspectives to understand – without judgment
    c. then sharing our own perspectives
  3. Individuals and communities living and working together should seek common values-based solutions to common problems without compromising their deepest values
    a. we believe that understanding each other’s values and beliefs will enhance our understanding of the issues
    b. we believe that achieving such solutions will actually allow us to live with greater integrity
  4. Subgroups should be able to maintain their own identities (meaningfully held values, beliefs, practices) within the laws of the broader community
  5. We shouldn’t want to change each other; we should try to build common foundations on which to move forward

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