Civilizovaná řeč

PAŘÍŽ – Co znamená být „civilizovaný“? Mít kvalitní vzdělání, nosit kravatu, jíst vidličkou a každý týden si stříhat nehty očividně nestačí. Všichni víme, že být „civilizovaný“ tímto formálním způsobem ještě lidem nezabrání, aby se chovali jako barbaři. Civilizovanost všude a ve všech dobách znamená schopnost uznat a akceptovat lidství jiných, a to navzdory odlišnému způsobu jejich života.

Možná se to zdá nabíledni, ale tento princip není všeobecně přijímán. Myšlenka dialogu mezi civilizacemi se obvykle setkává s kladným ohlasem, avšak někdy bývá i terčem posměchu. Závěr nedávného eseje Les religions meurtrières („Vražedná náboženství“) z pera Elieho Barnaviho nese název: „Proti dialogu civilizací.“ Jeho argumenty jsou nesmiřitelné: „Na jedné straně stojí civilizace a na druhé barbarství. Dialog mezi nimi není možný.“

Když se však nad touto argumentací zamyslíme pozorněji, okamžitě odhalíme její slabinu. Významy slov civilizace a kultura se totiž v jednotném a množném čísle velmi liší. Kultury (v množném čísle) jsou způsoby života vlastní různým skupinám lidí a zahrnují vše, co mají jejich členové společné: jazyk, náboženství, rodinné struktury, stravu, oblékání a tak dále. V tomto smyslu je „kultura“ popisnou kategorií bez jakéhokoliv hodnotového úsudku.

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