In this presentation I explore the implications of a particular ethical principle in the context of what seems, to many, to be a radically changing world order. The principle in question asserts that the lives (existence) and well-being of individual persons are more valuable and, therefore, more worthy of protection, than the lives (existence) of non-persons (specifically, nations, cultures and other institutions). The changes in world order include, most pertinently, the political and economic rise of China (and India), especially when set against various measures of decline in the West. While the principle I assert may seem increasingly irrelevant in such contexts-because of changing conceptions of citizenship as well as increasing scepticism about the Western notion of the autonomous individual-I maintain that for these very reasons, it is more vital than ever. There is nothing parochial or self-centred about maintaining a focus on how individual persons relate to one another; indeed, to lose this focus is to risk losing our very humanity.
|Publication status||Published - 2011|