Moral Universalism Essay, Research Paper
Moral Universalism should be a worldview.
I believe that it would be better for the human race to live in a world where moral universalism is the accepted worldview. I believe this because moral universalism almost offers the world a moral view that has no conflicts, no differences and has no bias. It will become clear why I think that moral universalism is the moral way of thinking throughout this essay. A valid explanation of what moral universalism is and how it can positively affect whole countries let alone whole nations will be provided.
Ideally, moral universalism offers a world that will have no moral disagreements due to the fact that universally everyone thinks in the same way and manner about morals in general. As you might agree, this would be unrealistic, but nevertheless a pure society based on moral universalism would uphold those values. With a universal train of thought focused upon morals that do not differ from one individual to the next there is no room for opinions or bias. Moral universalism makes morals have a universal validity. This one-way train has no intersections or choices or differences. Universally we are all aboard the same train, which would eliminate thousands of conflicts happening today around the world due to a different moral system (i.e.: the battles between religions). As Thomas Hurka says on the concept of tolerance and how we should not impose our values on other people:
The ideal of tolerance is, at least to a point, attractive. But it actually contradicts relativism. That s because the ideal is presented as one that is binding on everyone: everyone in every culture should refrain from imposing their values. But that s a universal and objective statement! (P.112, Principals; Short Essays on Ethics, Thomas Hurka)
Everyone should refrain from imposing their values. Yes, that is a universal statement and it also complies with the idea of moral relativism, that we can not side ourselves and say that our morals and customs are better than another societies . Ruth Benedict explains that certain customs, such as killing your children or cannibalism or murder, are not to be judged as correct or incorrect by anyone other than those in that culture itself. Take for example torturing a baby to death just for the fun of it, now this appears sadistic and evil to you and me, that is because of our moral system. We, being Canadians and raised with the western civilized culture, have developed a sense of what is supposed to be right or wrong (according to us) when it comes down to treating another human being. If everyone in the world thought the same way, and believed in the same morals as the western civilization, ideally, supposedly, whatever actions anyone of us underwent there would never be any conflict because it would just be accepted and agreed upon (take to an extreme). There would be no disagreement because there would be nothing to disagree with and there would be nothing to disagree with because there would be no differences in moral opinions and finally there would not be any difference in moral opinion because we would all have the same ones !
If we analyze briefly one aspect of moral universalism, we can see that with no moral differences there would be no disputes as I have said above but most of all due to the lack of disputes, there would not be conflicting governments. There might not even be more than one government! The result of such a change would be that there would be world peace. No more wars, no more hatred. To a certain extent we would seem to be a robotic entity surviving on a planet trying to technologically advance ourselves in order to discover the unknown.
With only one moral universe, there really would only be one culture. With only one culture I am contradicting that which James Rachel says about cultural relativism. There is no universal truth in ethics-that is, there are no moral truths that hold for all peoples at all times. (P.346, Cultural Relativism section, James Rachel) I am saying that there is, and can be a universal truth with moral universalism. That is why I believe I would like to live in a world where moral universalism is the worldview. Theoretically, who knows, maybe someday, moral universalism actually might happen and eventually the human mind through evolution would adapt and be assimilated by one moral system. Technically since there will always be different skin color, different religion or different countries of birth; moral universalism will never be the worldview, it is only an appealing approach to the advancement of humanity.
James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (New York: Random House, Inc., 1986)
Robert Streiffer, Moral Relativism and Reasons for Action, B.A. Reed College 1993.
Ruth Benedict, Anthropology and the Abnormal, The Journal of General Philosophy, 1934
Thomas Hurka, Principles Short Essays on Ethics, Harcourt Brace, 1999.