Is civic discourse being degraded?


Sir, – Congratulations to Archbishop Richard Clarke for reminding us that “civic discourse is being degraded” in all media but especially in social media (Rite & Reason, September 12th).

He does us all a service when he reminds us of the “truism” that we live in a culture in which personal abuse and vilification reign supreme.

The basic ethic of love of neighbour is being replaced by the creed that arrogance and contempt will get you everywhere.

There is no sign in the current public discourse that we are in any way capable of treating one another with what Richard Clarke calls “mutual respect and common purpose”.

That is a pessimistic view.

But the question asked by Richard Clarke, quoting a Vatican II document, is highly relevant.

Is present-day humanity “in the hands of those who are capable of providing the generations to come with reasons for life and optimism”? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.