We have to fight to the end the deadly fanaticisms that threaten to destroy our world. At the same time, we need to forge a language that speaks to people driven to fanaticism. Religion, for good and for bad, isn’t disappearing anytime soon, nor are passions of any kind. Liberals and moderates everywhere need to talk not just about values, but about meaning. We don’t need to forge common language of agreement with radicals and the right. But we do need to forge a common language of argument, at the most basic levels of human existence.
Only a common language, and much conversation, will reveal how all sides see their interests, values and experience of the world. This can’t make all violence go away, and may sound Utopian. But if we don’t offer common language with people with whom they deeply disagree as an ideal, we condemn ourselves to an even longer and bloodier war.
Yehudah Mirsky, “Condemning Fanaticism is the Easy Part”, The Times of Israel (17 January 2016) [http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/condemning-fanaticism-is-the-easy-part/]