Burke and Scruton make the point well, I think, but there is a fairly large class of people in this culture and in this time who are in denial and I further think they have removed themselves from reachability by discourse.
You know that I believe truth to be a "felt thing", and an example I would give is your earlier post recounting a vivid, compelling, enlightening dream, a moving experience having everything to do with truth.
The search for a common language seems to be the main challenge these days. And the search is made more difficult, given the increasingly polyglot and "multicultural" character of our native nation, not to mention the sheer impermeability of the reigning political orthodoxies with respect to the reception of new insights, experiences, or information....
The human experience is remarkably unform in many ways and the same "general rules" of conduct, the Golden Rule for example, seem to be more-or-less consistent across cultures.
You are asking, though, a very large question, bb, and I know you have your thoughts, but I don't believe the answer is to be found in improved communication for a large minority of our culture. Most do not think and are thus led apathetically toward vague "conclusions". The "Elite, Liberal" academic contingent, though, cannot be blind to their fundamentally erroneous Materialism and Atheism. They are too bright. I believe that they exhibit psychological dysfunction, severe insecurity and arrested development, by virtue of their eternal dependence upon others for their sustenance. They are cowards through and through. They are unreachable in the present institutional context.
Phaedrus, a whole lot of the people I talk to routinely seem to suggest that reason itself is some kind of universal language. But the more you talk to such folks, the more convinced you become that they do not have the least clue what reason is.
I gather that is why a "culture war" is continuously a-brewing these days. Its result for practical human political and cultural purposes is a kind of "Tower of Babel scenario" in which each one speaks his own "private" language. The discourse of the British "commons," or of the ancient Greek "Agora," is completely missing.
Which quite possibly may be some part of the reason why many people today don't have either a map or a compass.... That is to say, they are perfectly clueless about things that are larger than themselves.
I believe it was William James who observed that it is in the deeper, blinder strata of the self that is the only place in the world where we catch new fact in the making. I agree with you, truth is a "felt thing." However, it seems to me that to "feel" truth in this sense requires the death of the passions -- in the Socratic sense that cornelis was speaking of earlier. For passion misleads; it disorders; it does not permit us to see clearly. Unruly, disordered, power-mad men generally will not be terribly interested in truth. They're just interested in "results."