The Greek philosopher Plato believed that there was a parallel world: the world of Ideas . This world represented the true knowledge with the help of concepts, the Ideas. Each Idea corresponded to something that existed in the world that we experienced: the world of senses. There was the Idea of Good, of Beauty, of Justice... The Ideas never changed, unlike our world of senses. They would exist
forever and would always be the only truths. The world of senses was in fact just the shadow of the
world of Ideas, and it was the duty of men to try to be as close as possible to the Ideas. Today's world has changed a lot in the past few years and it is not rare in developed countries to have different cultures living side by side in the same territory. This new shape of society is characterised then by the diversity of backgrounds, religions, traditions, and beliefs. Is it possible, then, to apply what one might call the Idea of Justice, or a universal conception of justice? The differences are numerous and give place to what is called multiculturalism: the belief that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can co-exist peacefully and equitably in one single country. But is such a co-existence possible in reality? Can several different cultures obey to the same laws and be granted the same rights? Does multiculturalism undermine the universal conceptions of justice? Seeing that different cultures have different values and that some have different notions of what is right or wrong, to what extent are universal conceptions of justice compatible with multiculturalism?
[...] As long as they answer universal law (justice), men are free to make their own choices: freedom of choice of each can co-exist with everyone's freedom according to a universal . One could suggest therefore that multiculturalism is there to remind us that although our difference, we share a common feeling of humanity. Also, the new world in which we live today opens the future to a new perspective. People are brought more and more to leave the place from which they come for another country, where another language is spoken and where culture and ways of living are overall different. [...]
[...] Although the process is relatively slow and complicated, and that these rules are non whatsoever universal, it does show that guided by will and reason, men can always come to an agreement that will satisfy more or less every member and somehow benefit from it: “since 2000, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has been vigorously overseeing the transposition into national law of this equal treatment principle in all areas of economic and social life” . I have shown the importance of the differences that exist between cultures. [...]
[...] In Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights , Will Kimlicka argues that for most people the value of cultural membership is primordial and that they are willing to concede a lot in order not to lose their cultural identities. Equality and freedom are important, yes, but only within the sphere of their society and culture. This liberal view that Kimlicka defends insists that the role of the state regarding culture is to encourage and promote “moral values and traditional ways of life” by authorizing them legally but also by creating social conditions which enhance this capacity (e.g. [...]
[...] Then I will try to answer the question whether there really can be a universal conception of justice shared by all cultures. Eventually I shall give the reasons why multiculturalism on the contrary reinforces the existence and the necessity of shared conception of justice. There are undeniably deep differences from one culture to another. Every culture has its own way of living, its own culture, its own values . Matters such as family, education and work can be completely different. [...]
[...] There is another important point of the multiculturalism versus universal conceptions of justice debate. It disagrees with the idea that culture is essential to an individual's identity. This is the question of what should be more important between the individual and his culture. Indeed, Will Kymlicka assumes that culture is primordial for the people. This can be contradicted by saying that culture is not necessarily the main component to one's identity, and that what constitutes one's identity and guides his way of living is his individuality, first and foremost. [...]
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