Decency: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Posted by on 09/03/2019

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Date(s) - 09/03/2019 - 10/03/2019
All Day

Prague 2019


Decency is still important in our modern times, both in public life and in the private sphere. Yet as we push into the 21st Century, ‘decency’ increasingly appears to be coming under pressure across numerous fronts and on many diverse levels.

In one sense, decent housing, decent food, decent healthcare, decent education and a decent job are all considered necessary for people to flourish. Yet the concept is sometimes abused when deployed by powerful groups—political, social or religious—to denounce others for indecency. ‘Decent, hardworking, law-abiding citizens’ are set in stark opposition to ‘the others’ – the feckless, the lawless, the merely different or the ‘morally corrupt.’ In these cases, decency is more like an ethical force, the lack of which is deemed dangerous. And the image of decency can be used as a cover, for example, when persons who are outwardly decent and respectable use their wholesome images to hide despicable conduct.

So what is decency? How do we know it when we see it? How do we learn it? And how should it be understood, used and applied?