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The Quest for Universal Shared Value

In: Social Issues

Submitted By gumbum
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"Ultimately, all human beings share core universal values, and apparent differences are merely variances of practices or interpretation."

The Pursuit of Universal Shared Values
Throughout the twentieth century, philosophers have struggled to understand the nature of human morality, namely, the underlying values that form it. Which factors form the basis of our conception of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’—‘good’ and ‘bad’? Do we all share certain values, or some approach, that helps us come about our moral judgments? Is there a universal ‘good’ and ‘bad’? This is really the crux of it, is it not?
This essay will present the argument that the pursuit of human happiness—or at least perceived happiness—is the only value that can be considered universal amongst all human beings, and that the differences and conflicts between us stem from different interpretation’s of happiness and the means that should be taken toward its actualization. That is to say that something is ‘good’ to the extent to which it enables perceived happiness, or, disables a lack of perceived happiness. The universality of this value will be suggested to extend to all sentient beings, regardless of human intelligence and the capacity to reason. This essay’s thesis is in agreement with the proposed statement that, “ultimately, all human beings share core universal values, and apparent differences are merely variances of practices or interpretation,” however not to the extent that the ideas of philosophers John Stuart Mill, Aristotle and Jeremy Bentham are. Instead, it will refute and pose counter-arguments to certain aspects of their ideas, specifically, the need to define and place values on happiness, while building upon others. It will argue humans do not need to agree on what the ‘good life’ is, but rather just that we are all equally entitled to its pursuit. It will suggest that ethical...

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