Opening words of Juan Carlos Escotet Rodr├¡guez to the Emeterio G├│mez Conference
How is it possible many of you will wonder, that in the area of a company, in the current state of the world and the country, a thinker, a leading figure in philosophy, economics, education, journalism and debate of ideas, an intellectual like Emeterio G├│mez finds audience to share a reflection which, among other things, delves into the land of the sacred and the ethical to wonder about the role that these two dimensions have in our time?
It corresponds to me this afternoon the honorable task of welcoming Emeterio G├│mez and every one of you, gentle and eager citizens, dissatisfied people and willing to question yourselves about the times we live in, and who understand that the question of responsibility, not only remains valid as many ventured a couple of decades, but its sound is every day more powerful, more intense.
The unrest that marks the development of the world in recent decades does not occur in vain. Is expressed not only in ways that tear and blur the coexistence, in that kind of a big cloud that we experience every time we raise our face towards the horizon. Nobody sensible lives outside the perimeter of planetary distress, no one who is planted in the reality remains outside the boundaries of humanity suffering experience.
But that unrest, and these are still the news of civilization, is also expressed in the gaze, the interest that returns lively, in the intense vocation that wake up a number of issues in many people, all intertwined and vital and that refer to the human sense and the way they are constituted as an act or statement of responsibility to others.
Perhaps it could not be otherwise, but it is happening just at the time when crass individualism and stubborn selfishness are rampant shows its hardened face, coincides with the time in which, as endowed with a new energy, questions of duty reappear, the disturbing and inalienable questions of responsibility in all areas where this is possible.
There is no person, whatever their profession and way of life, community; regardless of affiliation or world view, group; beyond the purpose that justifies it, company; whatever productive purpose, institution; no matter what is the presumption that saved it from itself, i.e. no assumption, artistic work or human action that is not, today, questioned by the discussion of responsibility.
Nothing in the human, not even the fruit of honest labor and done with honor, is out of the ethical dimension. There is no procedure, mechanism or bureaucratic chain of production, process of knowledge transfer or any property that is not on the critical question of responsibility to others and the world we share.
If thinking of ethics, getting into the links it has with the holy and also the worldly, it may be risky but also deeply satisfying to talk about ethics, to proclaim responsibility, it may be, at least, engaging, challenging and often trigger the irritation of our fellows.
It is possible that many of us have the perception that ethics is a matter for specialists, philosophers and theologians, rabbis, university professors, disciplined readers and exegetes of the sacred books. It is true that these beings are more concerned with the job of thinking and promoting the good for humanity.
But that does not absolve us, does not condone the duty we owe to ourselves, to those around us and in a larger sense, to the community of which we are part.
I would dare to say that our lives are full of little and not so small behaviors that attest our solidarity and commitment to others. I am sure we all have opportunity to contribute more to the living and the welfare of others. It would be enough if we did not fear doubt; it would be enough if we put our most severe beliefs in the light of some questions, so that our souls are better prepared to the question of responsibility, that is, the question of humanity par excellence.
And here I return, and finally, to the reason that brings us here today, the baptism of the book Rationality and Religiousness of our friend Emeterio G├│mez, who also treats us to a conference that will give us a first approach to this work.
We too are, as responsible citizens, as subjects of responsibility, both at the personal and the institutional level, actors aware of the visions at stake. We are not and cannot remain oblivious or indifferent to all that it entails. I feel interrogated every day.
I have the privilege, because that is a great privilege, to live close to many people who often wonder if they’re doing the right thing. In this house, we have learned, we believe, to incorporate the questions of others to our practices and objectives. Therefore, we are very interested to hear a citizen who has made these issues in their current predicament and necessary.
Respectable Emeterio G├│mez, welcome to this house. Welcome as well, all those who accepted the invitation to spend some time with issues essential to our lives.
Let’s all welcome Emeterio G├│mez. Thank you very much.