The issue seems endless, the answer unreachable on any proven level, yet is sparks fire in the hearts of even the judges in courtrooms who must apply the law to ‘hard cases’ and stretch its definition whilst keeping in line with written provisions. Indeed, there are strong arguments both for and against the existence of universal moral standards. The issue is not one of proof; it is rather one of providing the most plausible argument.
So what is a universal moral principle? It is an objective knowledge of right and wrong; a confidence in the natural goodness of human nature. Our reflective intellect possesses a direct knowledge of the qualities from which conclusions might be drawn about what these moral rules are. The biggest problem faced by this contention is answering the question: where do they come from? Are they inherent within us, or do they come from a higher being? Do we learn them over time as we grow, or were we born with the ability to access these moral principles? Aquinas makes reference to the existence of natural laws created by God, which we access by intellectual reasoning given to us by Him (Aquinas 1920, Q.2-94:2). Hare states that human logic applies to our moral assertions, allowing us to arrive at an objective standard of moral principles. Rousseau argued that we were born with a certain set of natural rights, which are then transpired into the moral respect we give each other Rousseau (1762). If these different contentions are right, they all point to one thing; an existing set of moral principles, followed universally. So, everyone considers murder, or the taking of another’s life to be immoral. This is very plausible if one considers the law and punishment severity in law for murder; we all arguably believe in the preservation of life. However, in some societies this means killing the