Brenda ALMOND (University of Hull), Analysing and Resolving Values Conflict, English/18 pages, January 2007.


Many contemporary societies contain people with different cultural and religious beliefs, and this generates a need for toleration. Toleration, however, should not be confused with a lack of moral commitment, or even with being non-judgmental. The question of how to reconcile the fact of diversity and the concept of universal values is the classic dilemma of toleration. It can be resolved by recognising that toleration must be put in the balance with other principles: it does not mean neutrality, but is linked to the ethical requirement of respect for persons. It does not entail relativism or moral scepticism. These claims are set out in more detail in this paper in the form of four moral myths: the myth of toleration, the myth of the majority, the myth of neutrality, the myth of morality and law. The conclusion drawn is that our common human nature and the experience of human life shared by all human beings make possible a basic common core of universal values. Therefore, the reality of moral conflict does not necessarily carry sceptical consequences.