I am still trying to get the hang of BBC's podcast Thinking Allowed. The personal touch of host Laurie Taylor is much less distanced than that of In Our Time's Melvyn Bragg and apparently I was expecting a social sciences show with a Melvyn Bragg. Taylor is more involved, more opinionated and even mildly joking from time to time. He is also actively relating to the audience. Now there is a nice opening for us podcast listeners: send mail to the show and interact with it.
The last show, about moral relativism almost begs for contribution. There is the beginning of discussion. The moral absolute and the tolerance of other cultures are sufficiently posed before each other and then what? The item is already over, because the show is really short (less than 30 minutes) and there is ample time used for Taylor's musings and reactions.
That is a pity because, as I see it, we were about to draw a major conclusion (or slide into the tedious and repetitive discussion between cultural tolerance and the absolute of human rights) and that is: our culture bears both principles within its moral framework. We have learned both to respect other cultures, opinions, values and morals and yet we have a couple of profound and allegedly universal values. The real issue is not how to choose between either, but rather how to weigh them together. Certainly the guests eventually seem to lean in that direction.
More Thinking Allowed: