As I have been thinking along the lines of what values are most important to individuals, on what basis do individuals maintain or uphold their values? This "foundation" or "beginning" is what gives definition to values.
The four basis on which to base one's values are; Reason, Experience, Tradition and Text. Of course, without understanding that humans MUST approach any "foundation" through reason and experience, one is short-sighted.
Reason is basis of science. Science is produced by hypothesis, experiment, observation, verification, and conclusions. But, one's approach to any scientific endeavor is based on some understanding of 'universal laws" which guard the order in which man even begins to understand the "outcomes" of the experiment. But, does man understand the 'whole order' of the universe?
Experience is what the humanists base their understanding of "life" on. Experience is human existance. And human existance is understood by observation, and sense encounters. Are these observations and sense encounters different from other conscious entities?Wherein lies individual diversity? Is the human person uniquely distinct or innately similiar? Where does the elements of environment and physicality intersect? How do we know or understand consciousness? Is consciousness what makes one "human"? Is there a distinction of consciousness between the human and animal kingdom? If so, what is that difference? How did humans develop? Those who study the aspects of "man" use anthropology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, humanities, history, business, marketing, commerce/trade, international relations, political science, law, etc.
Tradition is narrowed as a sub-set of human experience. Tradition is understood by cultural studies, religion, religious studies, sociology, social psychology and historical texts but also crosses over into the experietial domains of commerce, trade, international relations, linguistics and history that impact that particular tradition.
Texts are those written forms of documentation of history that impact and/or form a culture.
The universals are reason and human experience, as other aspects of human existence are relative to cultural frame. And cultural frames are relative, while reason and experience are universal. What kind of faith do you have? Rational faith, existential faith, or a cultural faith?
The West allows for government that is accomadating to cultural diversity, while maintaining reasonable ways of negotiating conflict in our courts of law. The value of individuality in making the choice of cultural values is what makes for a flourishing human existence. Therefore, I have faith in liberal democracy to create the best environment for humans.