Universalizability, Principle of

The principle of universalizability is a form of a moral test that invites one to imagine a world in which any proposed action is also adopted by everyone else. For example, if an individual proposes to lie in order to get out of a tough situation, he or she must imagine the social world in which everyone lied to get out of tough situations. The lie only works because of the general expectation of the truth. In the imagined world, however, there is no such expectation, and so the lie contradicts itself. In the case of charitable giving, there is no contradiction that arises with an imagined world in which everyone who is able to gives to those who are in need. Since lying cannot ...

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