- Moral universalism
Moral universalism (also called moral objectivism or universal morality) is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for "all similarly situated individuals", regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or any other distinguishing feature. Moral universalism is opposed to moral nihilism and moral relativism. However, not all forms of moral universalism are absolutist, nor are they necessarily value monist; many forms of universalism, such as utilitarianism, are non-absolutist, and some forms, such as that of Isaiah Berlin, may be value pluralist.
According to R. W Hepburn, to adopt moral objectivism is
“ ... to argue that moral judgements can be rationally defensible, true or false, that there are rational procedural tests for identifying morally impermissible actions, or that moral values exist independently of the feeling-states of individuals at particular times. ” “ ... we adopt the principle of universality: if an action is right (or wrong) for others, it is right (or wrong) for us. Those who do not rise to the minimal moral level of applying to themselves the standards they apply to others -- more stringent ones, in fact -- plainly cannot be taken seriously when they speak of appropriateness of response; or of right and wrong, good and evil.
In fact, one of the, maybe the most, elementary of moral principles is that of universality, that is, If something's right for me, it's right for you; if it's wrong for you, it's wrong for me. Any moral code that is even worth looking at has that at its core somehow.
The source or justification of a universal ethic may be thought to be, for instance, human nature, shared vulnerability to suffering, the demands of universal reason, what is common among existing moral codes, or the common mandates of religion (although it can be said that the latter is not in fact moral universalism because it may distinguish between gods and mortals). As such, models of moral universalism may be atheistic or agnostic, deistic (in the case of several Enlightenment philosophers), monotheistic (in the case of the Abrahamic religions), or polytheistic (in the case of Hinduism). Various systems of moral universalism may differ in various ways on the meta-ethical question of the nature of the morality, as well as in their substantial normative content, but all agree on its universality.
An enormous range of traditions and thinkers have supported one form or another of moral universalism, from the ancient Platonists and Stoics, through Christians and Muslims, to modern Kantian, Objectivist, natural rights, human rights and utilitarian thinkers. The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an example of moral universalism in practice.
- Axel Honneth: Mutual Recognition as a Key for a Universal Ethics
- Bom Mo Chung: Global Village and Universal Ethics
- The Middle Way as the basis of moral objectivity
Human rights Fundamental concepts and philosophies Human rights by continent
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Moral universalism — the view that there are moral propositions that apply universally … Mini philosophy glossary
Moral universe — has two distinct meanings which are found throughout the literature. One relates to the moral nature of the universe as a whole and thus to human life, and the other refers to the many moral universes of people, groups, things and concepts.… … Wikipedia
Universalism (disambiguation) — Universalism refers to any concept or doctrine that applies to all persons and/or all things for all times and in all situations, and may mean different things depending on the field:In religion, theology*see Universalism In philosophy*For… … Wikipedia
Moral objectivism — may refer to: Robust moral realism, the meta ethical position that ethical sentences express factual propositions about robust or mind independent features of the world, and that some such propositions are true. Moral universalism (also called… … Wikipedia
Moral absolutism — This article is about moral absolutism as a theory of normative ethics. For moral absolutism as a theory of meta ethics, see Moral universalism. Moral absolutism is an ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of … Wikipedia
Moral relativism — For other uses, see Relativism Moral relativism may be any of several descriptive, meta ethical, or normative positions. Each of them is concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures: Descriptive… … Wikipedia
Moral nihilism — This article is about the meta ethical position. For other uses, see Nihilism (disambiguation). Moral nihilism (also known as ethical nihilism or amoralism) is the meta ethical view that nothing is moral or immoral. For example, a moral nihilist… … Wikipedia
Moral realism — This article is about moral realism in the robust sense. For moral realism in the moderate or minimal sense, see Moral universalism. Moral realism is the meta ethical view which claims that: Ethical sentences express propositions. Some such… … Wikipedia
Universalism — synonym for moral universalism, as a compromise between moral relativism and moral absolutism … Mini philosophy glossary
Moral syncretism — consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory moral beliefs, often while melding the ethical practices of various schools of thought. Contents 1 The role of moral syncretism 2 Morality independent of religion 2.1 Atheism and… … Wikipedia