It is obvious that a successful human civilization can only be built on shared concepts of right and wrong. It is equally obvious that different societies in different times and places may have different ethical guidelines for the same or a similar situation.
If we examine different cultures from the past and the present it will be clear to us that the ideas about good and evil held by the people of different societies are often contradictory to one another. The differences in ethical beliefs are not minor but in fact it is very hard to think of a point of ethics upon which all human societies agree.
Every Human culture has a different source of ethical tradition. In many societies, their system of ethics is said to be founded upon scripture revealed by higher beings such as gods or angels. These systems of morality can only be accepted as legitimate by the ones who believe in those higher beings. For people of other faiths or atheists, agnostics or deists such arguments hold no sway.
Many philosophers have tried to come up with a universally acceptable system of ethics. Although the fact that different intelligent human beings acting in sincerity cannot agree on whether the same action in the same exact circumstances is an ethically correct or an incorrect act, shows us that quest for a universal system of Ethics may be hopeless. It can even be argued that the inability of humans to agree on any ethical principles shows that nothing is inherently good or evil.
Some people depend upon their moral intuition as a guide for actions. It can be argued that the idea that something is wrong just because it feels wrong and another thing is right because it feels right cannot be taken seriously as guiding principle because that which is moral according to one person’s intuition may be immoral according to the intuition of another person.
The primary tool that philosophers have used in their effort to design a universal ethical system is logic. Since logical principles are something that multiple cultures can agree on, logic may provide us with the means of designing a universal ethical system.
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