Protecting individual identity and diversity in a united world: a new basis in fundamental ethical theory

House, Ron (2005) Protecting individual identity and diversity in a united world: a new basis in fundamental ethical theory. In: UNESCO'S 8th International Conference on Philosophy and Culture: Unity and Diversity in Religion and Culture, 27-30 Jan 2005, Seattle, Washington.


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The issues of safeguarding individual identity and promoting a flourishing, unified world
community are profoundly interlinked, with one critical nexus lying in the question of how
humans should act towards each other, how they can possibly trust others different from
themselves. This is a fundamental moral question. This paper proposes a new moral
framework that addresses these issues. The proposed principle focuses on intentional choice
in accordance with stated objective criteria of good and evil. The criteria themselves are
universal: the good aims to benefit all without exception, whilst the evil aims to harm even a
single innocent. As a principle of willed action, there is no inconsistency with the fact that
the imperfect world may prevent achievement of the goal of the good choice, and may bring
about the circumstance one is trying to avoid in rejecting the evil choice. But these criteria
provide concrete guidance: in personal living, in relating within and amongst groups, and in
designing laws and social systems. Also, in a world that practised such an ethic, personal
identity, security, and belonging are enhanced for each individual by their trust in the
universal care practised by others. This paper explores how the goodness principle works in
practice to fulfil this promise.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Series: International Readings on Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture, No. 22 St. Petersburg Association of Scientists and Scholars
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:33
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: universal ethics, planetary ethics, ethics, philosophy, social systems, Principle of Goodness, affirmations of humanism, globalisation, united world, personal ethics, individual identity, diversity
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220305 Ethical Theory
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220104 Human Rights and Justice Issues
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory

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