Ethics in a Civilization of Words
First of all, in human condition, the words must be considered. Since we are human beings, the verbal language is our specific attribute: it is an exclusive characteristic of our species. Our capability of abstract thinking and our ability to create a culture are symptoms of a civilization. Civilization does not mean only a mechanism of coexistence, but a reflection and a construction of shared meanings.
Nowadays, the proliferation of words has no historical precedent that in any way could be compared: the exposure and accessibility of media and social media make the individual production of words continuous and a prerogative that fundamentally belongs to everyone. The network consists of words.
However, there are ways one can share and defend. On the other hand, there are also ways one simply cannot approve. When words becomes an occasion of hatred and disrespect, of abuse of power and of defamation, of intolerance and of negativity, then it is time to make a serious reflection. The Sophists had already theorised words are not neutral. It is now time to rethink how to turn the words able of exclusion into words able of inclusion. Words which are capable of respect for an ethical behavior in the virtual context of the network.
Ostile Words is the collective project with the aim of an ethical verbal respect in the network. More than 300 journalists, managers, politicians, teachers, communicators and influencers of the network have already joined and supported this project.
This event will take place during the days of 17th and 18th February in Trieste. Its organization is in collaboration with the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. During the first day of work, after a debate about the theme of digital language and behaviour, the “Non-hostile Communication Manifesto” will be composed and submitted by the community.
During the second day, nine worktables will be open to the public. The themes of discussion will be: social media and writing; journalism and mass media; travel, sports and entertainment; policy and law; business and advertising; in the name of God; youth and digital; fibs and algorithms; children and social media.
We have chosen to join and support this mobilization against the hate speech on the network, but more generally in favor of good communication, positive intention even where there is dissent, according to a constructive dialogue, because as says the philosopher, sociologist Zygmunt Bauman “True dialogue is not talking to people who think like you”.
The reason of our support is our belief that respect is a moral and ethical value. It plays the role of a good premise in the mutual recognition of everyone of us. Therefore, the purpose and the role each person can have will be clear and will allow the harmony and the cooperation with others, always in the awareness and recognition of natural and symbolic resources which are available to us. The well-being of everyone can be achieved only by practicing gratitude, harmony and a peaceful coexistence in positive social and economic relations.