DEMOCRACY AND THE NEUTRAL ETHICAL STANCE OF THE STATE

Stanisław Kowalczyk

Stanisław Kowalczyk

Stanisław Kowalczyk (1932-), Professor of Christian Philosophy at the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński in Warsaw, Poland. The author of more than 20 books and 400 articles, his main books are: Podstawy światopoglądu chrześcijańskiego, Warszawa 1980; Wieki o Bogu, Wrocław 1986; An Outline of the Philosophical Anthropology, Frankfurt am Main 1991; Liberalizm i jego filozofia, Katowice 1995.

“It seems most likely that the mystery of man will never be completely explained” (An Outline of the Philosophical Anthropology, 1991).

Leading politicians in ancient Greece and philosophers in that age were already greatly interested in the concept of democracy. This concept has always been an object of heated controversy. Two leading conceptions are most often discussed nowadays.

The former, defined as formalprocedural, concentrates on such mechanisms of democracy as: parliamentary elections, separation of legislative and executive powers, the independence of the judiciary, human rights maximizing individual freedom, and the idea of a wholly obligatory tolerance. Today, representatives of ideological liberalism produce arguments for procedural democracy, called also libertarianism. They understand democracy as “kind of self-driven machine that needs only to be put into motion to let it begin its faultless functioning.” The Liberal concept of democracy excludes normative ethics from public-political life and does so in the name of human freedom and the ideological pluralism of modem societies.

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