Belief in universal human value as an entry condition in politics

Posted by – June 12, 2017

Philosophy has made an entrance into Finnish politics. The government is on the verge of collapse due to the election of Jussi Halla-aho as leader of the True Finns party, which is one of three governing parties currently. The president and other party leaders have emphasised that while Halla-aho’s political positions may be acceptable in a democracy, he must accept the philosophical position of universal and equal human value.

I think the president has put his finger on it – that is as close to a fundamental value as our society has. I hope the present debate will lead to some close examination of its philosophical basis and meaning. Maybe that won’t happen, but still, I find this to be a remarkably elevated level for political discourse!

You could even say that instead of God, we believe in universal human value. Intellectually, most people would probably have a hard time accepting it, but believing in it makes you a better and more complete person.

And a “you just have to believe in it” -norm like that must be enforced rather strongly if it is to survive at all.

I just remembered that I even translated and critiqued Halla-aho’s blog post years ago which I think is the basis of this debate. The original 2005 Finnish post by Halla-aho, my 2011 translation and a brief critique in English.

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