In philosophy, universalism is a doctrine or school claiming universal facts can be discovered and is therefore understood as being in opposition to relativism. In certain religions, Universality is the quality ascribed to an entity whose existence is consistent throughout the universe.
When used in the context of ethics, the meaning of universal refers to that which is true for "all similarly situated individuals."  Rights, for example in natural rights, or in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, for those heavily influenced by the philosophy of theEnlightenment and its conception of a human nature, could be considered as universal. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is inspired by such principles.
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