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A set of values that are thought to apply universally.
The discussion of universal values often start off with the discussion of Intrinsic Value versus Extrinsic Value. Roughly stated, something has an intrinsic value when it is valuable "in itself" or "for its own sake"; something has an extrinsic value if it is valuable because of something else.
Historical discussions of universal values Edit
The first philosophical discussions of universal values seemed to occur around the same time: Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC), Plato (427 BC – ca. 347 BC), Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC), Mencius (372 BC – 289 BC).
Categorising universal valuesEdit
Following Colero we might divide universal values into the following categories
Personal ethics arise from the our condition as social animals.
- Care and compassion for others
- Respect for the autonomy of others
- Trustworthiness & honesty
- Obeying the law (with the exception of civil disobedience)
- Being just and fair
- Benevolence doing good
- Preventing harm
For those of use employed and with responsibilities to others a further set of principles come into play. Often these are formally set down in a written code but even when not such principles are expected in our public life
- Impartiality and objectivity
- Openness in our dealings
- Due diligence and duty of care
- Fidelity to professional responsibilities
- Avoiding potential or apparent conflict of interest
On a wider scale, with our growing knowledge of the world a number of further principles can be identified
- Global justice (as reflected in international laws)
- Society before self / social responsibility
- Environmental stewardship
- Interdependence & responsibility for the ‘whole’
- Reverence for place
See also Edit
- Ethic of reciprocity
- Confucian theory of ethics
- Ethics in religion
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Human Rights
- Value system