October 1, 2020

"dignity makes us resistant to everything, but also hinders"

The philosopher Javier Gomá has proposed with his latest book, "Dignity", to remind us that along with the "misery" that "surrounds and harasses us" there are also elements that make life "worth living", just as we teaches that while making us "resistant to everything" is also what "hinders".

The Basque philosopher (Bilbao, 1965) takes us into this philosophical essay published by Galaxia Gutemberg on this concept whose analysis, "at least until the Renaissance", has become an "almost ontological" debate that throws this question: " what is more abundant, misery or human dignity? ", reflects Gomá in an interview with Efe.

"That answer depends on something very important because it is not just about living, but about living a human life, a dignified life. Does this world allow us, or does misery abound so much that any attempt at dignity is wasteful?" the playwright and director of the Juan March Foundation also questions.

From this question was born the "motivation" of this book that pursues, in his words, "wake the reader the feeling of his dignity and remind him" that along with that misery that "surrounds and harasses us" there are also elements that make "life worth living ".

And what is a decent life? Well, for Gomá it is none other than the one that when he dies makes his survivors think that death is "scandalously unfair": "we will only be able to produce that sensation to those who survive us with a life that should not disappear."

Given this concept, Gomá also denounces that dignity has had a "theoretical abandonment" by philosophy, something that justifies because, especially in an "accelerated way" since World War II, have occurred " extraordinary social revolutions in the name of society without philosophy having redefined that concept. "

"In philosophy in recent centuries we had to ask about other things. We have had a critical philosophy of ideologies, criticism of suspicion and suspicion that has made us more lucid and freer, but blind to the creative and transformative value of dignity ", has qualified.

"We feel what is the decent or the indecent, the brave or the cowardly, the virtuous or the barbarian without the need to define it. Here in Spain a movement emerged, that of" the outraged ", which had a huge influence and mobilized a group of people without anyone in the group feeling the need to define what it was that whose absence or violation ignited their protest, "he says.

In this essay, the philosopher also emphasizes the fact that dignity makes the individual "resistant to everything", although it is also "what hinders".

"The general interest yields to individual dignity in such a way that individual dignity resists barbarism, illegalities, but also resists the general interest, the common good and material progress if it is at the expense of individual dignity ", Add.

Precisely for that reason, the author affirms that dignity is what hinders since it can make the progress of a society slower and even stop for respecting the dignity of an individual.

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