Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Ten Universal Principles

I. Principles of Reason
1) The Principle of Complete Explanation
(Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) The best opinion or theory is the one that explains the most data.

2) The Principle of Noncontradiction
(Plato and Aristotle) Valid opinions or theories have no internal contradictions

3) The Principle of Objective Evidence
(Plato and Aristotle) Nonarbitrary opinions or theories are based upon publicly verifiable evidence

II. Principles of Ethics

4) The Principle of Nonmaleficence (Jesus, Moses, and worldwide religious traditions) Aviod unnecessary harms; if a harm is unavoidable, minimize it. Silver Rule: Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

5) The Principle of Consistent Ends and Means
(Saint Augustine) The end does not justify the means.

6) The Principle of Full Human Potential
(Las Casas) Every human being (or group of human beings) deserves to be valued according to the full level of human development, not according to the level of development currently achieved.

III. Principles of Justice and Natural Rights

7) The Principle of Natural Rights
(Suarez, Locke, Jefferson, and Paine) All human beings possess in themselves (by virtue of their existence alone) the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property ownership; no government gives these rights, and no government can take them away.

8) The Principle of the Fundamentality of Rights
(Suarez, Locke, and Jefferson) The more fundamental right is the one which is necessary for the possibility of the other; where there is conflict, we should resolve in favor of the more fundamental right.

9) The Principle of the Limits to Freedom
(Locke and Montesquieu) One person’s (or group’s) freedoms cannot impose undue burdens upon other persons (or groups).

IV. Fundamental Principle of Identity and Culture

10) The Principle of Beneficence
(Jesus) Aim at optimal contribution to others and society. The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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