The last couple of sentences from Chapter 2 in Cosmopolitanism really spoke to me.
”People often recommend relativism because they think it will lead to tolerance. But if we cannot learn from one another what it is right to feel, think, and do, then conversation between us will be pointless. Relativism of that sort isn’t a way to encourage conversation; it’s just a reason to fall silent.”
This sort if relativism, of course being where everyone lives without a shared world and with different perspectives. I think it is very true what Appiah is saying, how if we live in our own worlds and avoid everyone else’s beliefs then we will reach tolerance, but you truly have to understand the other side if things to be tolerant. Avoiding the subject just makes you seem unapproachable about any topic, especially if your known for not wanting to talk about something. However, now a days, in politics and in other aspects of life everyone preaches that if its not about them they shouldn’t worry about it, like gay marriage for instance. This is a subject you should be concerned with, not because it will affect you, but because you need to understand it to in turn become tolerant of it. So I completely agree with Appiah on this certain point.
In Chapter 3 I agree with Appiah, that what you think, greatly depends on what you already know. He talked about the Azande and how they believe in witchcraft, which of course as Americans we don’t believe in but that’s because we were bred to believe science. The Azande don’t know that, therefore they go in what they believe in. And with a heavy presence of religion in the culture they have to have something to balance out the good, therefore witchcraft.
Appiah brings up some amazing points and I cannot wait to see what else he has in store.