Universal Values - Definition, Concept and What it is
The concept of universal values must be framed within the moral dimension of the human being. When referring to values we refer to freedom, justice, generosity, love, peace, solidarity or honesty , concepts that are present in all cultural traditions.
The above concepts make sense for what they are worth. Thus, we say that something is valuable because we consider it good. Therefore, values do not exist properly (there is no freedom anywhere or any other value), but what we do is that certain things have a certain value.
What do we understand by universal values?
Moral values can be understood from individual subjectivity, in relation to a particular culture or as universal ideas.
A person can understand a value (for example, freedom) from their personal experience. That same value can be conceived from a changing perspective (for example, the idea of freedom for the Greeks of antiquity, freedom for the Renaissance man or for contemporary man).
Another perspective is to understand freedom as a universal idea and, therefore, that despite individual criteria or historical circumstances, freedom is a universal value and, in fact, has been reflecting on it for more than 2000 years This vision means understanding freedom or any other value as a constant reference and one way or another is always present in the human being.
The controversy over universal values
Ethics is the discipline that analyzes the moral behavior of the individual. Some philosophers argue that one cannot speak of universal values, since they consider that these supposed values are changing and they are also ideas created by the Western world and not by all cultural traditions.
This conception is relativistic and according to her every cultural tradition understands the values according to their own cultural coordinates. On the other hand, other philosophers claim that there are some universal values, because if we say that something is good, it is because we consider that this idea is universalizable, that is, it is good not only for me but for all humanity.
A concrete example of universal values can be found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, a document that claims to be valid for the whole of humanity and, therefore, with a global and universal dimension.
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