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Ethics of minima and maxima

The ethics of minima is the part of ethics that we all need to share. Ethics of minima, the specific part to each individual to choose.


What is ethics of minima? 

The ethics of minima allows us to build healthy plural societies. It has a key function. Firstly, it is the basis on which we can live together with people who have different values

Secondly, it is a minimum we all have to meet. Discrimination or mistreatment cannot be accepted. And thirdly, it serves as a standard by which to judge common institutions. When we say that a law is unfair, we all need to agree on what we mean.

What is ethics of maxima? 

The ethics of maxima is the part of ethics specific to each individual to choose. Some people consider that an optimal life is a life seeking pleasure and satisfaction either for themselves or for the majority. 

Others believe that commitment to progress justifies a life of self-denial and sacrifice. There are vegetarians for ethical reasons and people who consider that they should donate part of their income to social causes.

None of these life proposals can be considered a condition for coexistence. In fact, consensus on them is not even desirable, let alone possible.

Nevertheless, the ethics of maxima is important because it gives coherence to our life choices and behaviours. In fact, the ethics of minima does not shape us as individuals but ethics of maxima do.