posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 11:52 AM
Regardless of any realistic viability to be embraced or imposed upon others, universal ethics can and frankly should be defined.
I don't recognize, however, the notion of defining such ethic could fall on any one entity or organization. We sought this from God/gods,
Ideological movements, and even Political apparatus. All have failed to prove transferable between peoples.
There are cultural boundaries that we have set up, constructs of our own belief systems to consider. There are also communication barriers and
perceptual differences defined by circumstance. It would be no small accomplishment to garner a 'universally acceptable consensus of peoples' on
Ethical constructs are really the foundation of the rights and privileges all individuals can claim as universal. Rights are reflections of these
ethics in societies. The key to developing ethics that are universally applicable will impact the rights and privileges (self-perceived) of those
holding to them.
Many qualify the rights they propose because of the above-mentioned constructs. But then, if it can be waived, or it can be overridden, doesn't that
disqualify it as a true 'inalienable right?' Logic dictates that any right which can be so modified is not in fact a right, it is a granted
Ethic also will determine the social contract each person MUST accept with their environment. If we truly accept that we cannot kill someone, we
cannot then wage war, we cannot exercise lethal force under ANY circumstance. We as a species have long accepted that violence, for example, is
conditionally acceptable. The judgment of it's acceptability is not consigned to the person inflicting the violence, it automatically implies an
external evaluation must take place.
It seems that ethics then, is a social construct in and of itself. If we accept that axiomatically, we must determine if we are willing to recognize
the existence of societal differences that would allow for different' non-universal ethics, and are they to be honored, or dissolved by the force of
Until we can define ourselves as a single society, we would not be able to define a single ethical/moral construct to guide our actions. Yet
commonly, peoples adhere quite fervently to cultural or national identities. The effort to eliminate that by force, or social evolution is
necessarily going to figure in this debate, such as it is.
There are few constants in the different societies of the world.
The right to exist independently of the will of any outside controlling entity would have to be foremost on the list. We we all religiously to
embrace that single ethical/moral ideal would eliminate virtually all conflict at the political level, rendering the 'popularity' of any ideological
I hold that we would also have to redefine the paradigm of some of these constructs. For example, I don't believe "Free Speech" should be
considered a right - I believe it should be considered a responsibility and a duty. The form of the culture/society/government or whatever should be
to ensure that the responsibility to engage in and promote free speech is always prevalent in the affairs of daily life. No voice should be
disregarded or squelched under any circumstance ever. That, of course, would render state and commercial 'secrecy' a thing of the past however, and
one of the most important maxims that 'knowledge is power' operate contrary to that precept.
We have a long way to go before we can claim a selfless commitment to such a policy. People seek gratification, validation, acceptance, and
admiration. Given that those are the 'ends' toward which man commonly strives, what 'means' will be considered morally or ethically
And that's just one example. If we are to examine all such things, this thread is destined to grow into biblical proportions.