Morality is best described as the principles regarding the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, ethical and unethical. The University of Oxford conducted a study to help us understand universal morality to find common ground amongst various different cultures around the world. They found that while our cultures are all so different, we all share the same moral values – seven of them to be exact, all being relevant to both business and personal life.
“People everywhere face a similar set of social problems, and use a similar set of moral rules to solve them. As predicted, these seven moral rules appear to be universal across cultures. Everyone everywhere shares a common moral code. All agree that cooperating, promoting the common good, is the right thing to do,” quoted Oliver Scott Curry, lead author on the study.
With Australia and other countries becoming more diverse, understanding our moral similarities will make working together easier and more productive because at the end of the day, we are all on the same page – we all just want to cooperate and do good. As Curry also said, “Appreciating this fundamental fact about human nature could help promote mutual understanding between people of different cultures, and so help to make the world a better place.” The seven more values that the University of Oxford found we have in common are:
If this research does leave you questioning how specific these values are, know that there are definitely cultural differences when it comes to priorities. This is just another reminder that we are all human with human beliefs – our culture, country, and language do not affect nor dictate our moral values.