The Value of (Universal) Values in the Work of Clifford Christians

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 25 (2):110-120 (2011)
Abstract
The compelling ethical legacy of Clifford Christians's and his profound commitment to moral action is enriched by his engagement with universal proto-norms, values that order all human relationships and institutions and so bypass the divisiveness of appeals to individual rights, cultural practices, or national prerogatives. According to Christians, the primal sacredness of life establishes mutual respect as a basis for ethics and thus constitutes the premier proto-norm; our obligation to sustain one another defines human existence. Entailed by the sacredness of life are other basic ethical values, such as truth, human dignity, and non-violence. This essay considers whether generating all ethics from such universals has downsides and whether the ethics derived from this “primordial generality” produces the maximal ethics required by a complex, modern world
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