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Posted on July 30th, 2012, by

Universalist ethics principles suggest that there is a set of moral demands and rules that apply to every human being despite local national or historical traditions and other distinguishing features like culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation etc. Critics of the idea of Universalist ethics stress that it neglects cultural differences and there cannot be any universal rules for people. The aim of this essay is to analyze how Barak Obama in his Cairo speech reacted to possibility of such criticism and how well he managed to address such issues.

In general, Cairo speech was aimed at establishing parallels between Muslim world and western countries; it was meant to focus at global values common for people in all parts of the world and also address several issues which served as sources of conflict (local war conflicts, women’s rights, nuclear weapons etc.). In my opinion, this speech succeeded to show that even for the questions where conflicts take place now, the interests of Muslims, Americans and other people living on Earth are alike. Obama recalled to values common to all mankind – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. He reminded that despite race, origin and religion, all people share common aspirations to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love their families, communities, and their God.

In the speech the globalization and interdependence of all people on the globe was also stressed; thus, Obama has shown that despite cultural differences and differences in tradition, human beings share the same set of values.

Moreover, Obama turned to religious differences and showed that in all books and in all faiths in the Holy Koran, in the Talmud, in the Holy Bible the primary virtue and value was peacemaking. In my opinion, the speech successfully addressed possible opposition to universalism and universalist ethics which served as basis for the speech.

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