5 Voices in the dialogue: on morality and values
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The moral ecology of South Africa's township youth (Wits University Press, 2010) describes a youth voice on morality. Here the author speaks about its contribution to South Africa's national dialogue. Before we embark on a national dialogue on morality and values, there are important questions to ask, namely: who currently speaks about morality?; what are each group's main messages?; and is what they speak of enough? The educational philosopher Graeme Haydon describes four voices that currently dominate discussions about morality and values. These are the 'lay' or popular voice; the 'research' or academic voice; the 'official' government or political voice, and the 'professional' educational voice. Each is characterised by a particular message. The book, Ikasi, adds a further dimension to these conversations, namely a youth voice.
In the African context, there is currently an important conversation underway showing how the indigenous notion of ubuntu may be used as an ethic to govern democracy, public governance, environmental protection, health, welfare, business practice and interpersonal relationships.