Fairness in Conflicts: When we don’t agree

Dialogues by A. Amankwaa

We can still live in peace, love and respect one another even if we disagree.


It’s a partly sunny winter morning, Akua is looking forward to an amazon delivery, a new photography kit to start a new hobby. Whilst enjoying her warm ginger tea, she stumbles on a Facebook post on the dangers of disinformation and the subtle bias of the mainstream media. One of the comments stood out, an unpleasant statement about politics in the United States and the propagation of cancel culture on moral issues. A conversation ensues between Akua and Kwesi.

Akua: Kwesi, I think statement A or claim A hurts our feelings; it could also encourage people to harm us physically. It is wrong and unfair to us… On the other hand, …could statement A be justified?

Kwesi: Only if statement A or claim A is true, and there is some objective, robust and reliable evidence to support it. But how can we all know if it is true when we all have different knowledge or evidence and different experiences? …I do not know everything you know, neither have I experienced everything you have experienced except what is common to humankind… So, I think there will always be points of convergence and divergence in our perspectives.

Akua: I think, then, at the bottom line, if we cannot all know of its truth, we must accept that people may hold such claims whether true or not, pleasant or unpleasant. But, 1) this claim, and its implications, should not be forced on anyone; 2) though it may be unpleasant to others, it should not be a basis for discrimination or lead to physical harm or incite harm upon persons of different views; and 3) people should be free and respected to share their truth claims, and critically challenged through cooperative dialogue, out of mutual reverence, and most importantly, without being judgemental or condemning one another. I think this is a fair and inclusive approach.

After we have all shared our truth claims and its basis, people are free to change their mind or not. But we can still live in peace, love and respect one another even if we disagree…

#Dialogues by A. Amankwaa

Categories: Reflections