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Universalism

Universalism is based on the premise that some values are so basic to the human condition that they are, and should be, universally adhered to. Indeed, the American version of universalism can be traced back to the Declaration of Independence, when Thomas Jefferson (with the advice of the Committee of Five—Jefferson, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and John Adams) wrote that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were self-evident, unalienable rights. Jefferson based much of the Declaration on the writings of John Locke, who believed that the natural state of man was one of self-reliance but that for people to live together, a form of government must be formed that restrains partiality and violence and respects the rights of all. Locke believed that ...

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