Photo Gallery Michael Eckerman
Since we cannot apply the scientific method to such situations,
the best we can do is to try to classify events according to patterns we’ve previously experienced.
What this means is that the process of values clarification is inherently messy and inexact.
It’s also a uniquely individual experience. You cannot objectively prove that one set of values is
any better or worse than another, but you can begin to see patterns over time,
and these patterns can help point you in the direction of universal principles.
IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
The existence of universal principles cannot be proven.
However, as you live with different sets of values long enough and gain enough experience,
you will start to see that there are certain values which massively outperform others in certain areas,
hinting at the possibility that there may exist a true principle that works universally for everyone.
An example of a potential universal principle is that of fairness.
If you align yourself with the value of fairness and live with integrity to it,
you will likely find that it works extremely well.
Fairness means that you treat everyone you encounter as a person of equal value to yourself –
no more, no less. The principle of fairness is captured in the words, “all men are created equal,”
found in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Fairness is the foundational value upon which democracy
is built. The founding fathers of the United States upheld this value as a “self-evident” truth,
meaning that they believed fairness/equality to be a universal principle.
Imagine having to design your own system for running a company or a country,
not knowing in advance what role you’d play after it was launched.
It seems reasonable that you would design that system with fairness for all participants as a high priority.