Witnessing to the humanity of the other is the place where all moral reasoning must begin: The Revd Canon Giles Fraser

by Julia Evans on September 16, 2011

Quote from:  The Revd Canon Giles Fraser, BBC Radio 4, Thought for the Day (16 September 2011)  available here  or here.

Further quote: And the way a liberal culture does this, he argues, is by taking the ‘human’ bit out of ‘human rights’, promoting instead the subtly persuasive idea that defending human rights is really all about defending some much larger narrative about democracy or freedom. [Conor Gaerty  quoted by the Revd Canon Giles Fraser, commenting on Sir William Gale’s recent report on the murder, whilst in British custody, of Baba Mousa on 15th September 2003.

 

JE’s comments: This is exactly what regx2’s principles for action struggle to state. Here they are again:

 

regx2 works in relationships with others to:

 

Enable sufferers from symptoms of psychic or mental distress to choose the treatment or practice which works for them rather than the One prescribed by the government.

 

Resist the top-down imposition by the law of the One Standard driving practitioners’ training, development, practice, ethics, complaints procedure, etc that produces unhealthy uniformity.  N.B.  The DoH Scoping Project (July 2005) (available here) found 571 training organisations.  This strategy seeks to support this healthy diversity rather than protect or prioritise one or a section of its variants.

 

So it matters from which position you start.

 

Do you want an evaluation of torture which proves that it is evil (The American Psychological Association claims to be able to tell when torture is abusive or damaging rather than acceptable) or do you start from a fundamental premise of the humanity of the other?

 

Do you want an evaluation of talking therapies which prove it is efficient, cost-effective, up to Government standards, risk-free, or do you, in your practice, start from a fundamental premise of the humanity of the other?

 

 

Further quotes from Giles Fraser:

For once the stakes have been raised to this level, then it becomes just too easy to persuade an apparently human rights based culture to tolerate a bit of ‘roughing up’ in the name of some higher good.

 

The concluding paragraph[i], argues that you cannot prove torture is wrong ‘because it has to be a fundamental premise. Witnessing to the humanity of the other is the place where all moral reasoning must begin.’



[i] The Revd Dr Giles Fraser’s final paragraph:

“Ecce Homo” are the words used by Pontius Pilate in the Latin Vulgate Bible when he presents a whipped and beaten Jesus Christ to the baying mob.Translated it means: “Behold, the man.” This is the only argument I have against torture. In fact, it’s not really an argument at all. That torture is wrong can never be the conclusion to any line of reasoning because it has to be a fundamental premise. Witnessing to the humanity of the other is the place where all moral reasoning must begin. It is about having the moral courage to speak out, irrespective of personal cost. And the basic structure of this witness, for religious and non-religious alike, is to point to a bruised and broken body with a version of these words: Ecce Homo. This person is human too.

 

One comment

I think that the following is very pertinent to what is happening today.

“We can only dis-empower ourselves through seeking validation from a hostile source by which we betray ourselves, our calling and our patients”

This betrayal of our clients and our profession is the reason that I personally believe that the scramble by some to seek validation is wrong, wrong, wrong.
David

by David Doohan on 07/10/2011 at 3:19 pm. Reply #