Most of the available theories and concepts of ethics were developed in a Western setting. Whether ethical concepts and rules are universally relevant to all countries or relative in their application is still an unsettled issue. The Egyptian revolution or massive uprising of January 25, 2011 was a turning point in the history of modern Egypt. The loud cry of the masses for bread, human dignity and social justice fell into the core of moral quest and ethical imperatives. These demands roughly correspond to the three major ethical pillars of utility, rights and justice. The different stages that Egypt went through starting the 1950’s until that revolt are analyzed in terms of satisfying these three needs which were demanded by the masses . The lessons learned can be useful in shedding further light on the issue of universalism and relativism in the ethical debate. The conditions of a developing country may demand different priorities than that of a developed country. Furthermore priorities may differ in different periods the country went through. The Egyptian experience also shows that adopting an imbalanced package of the three concepts could be detrimental in the long run.
Ethical Concepts, Universalism, Relativism, Developing Countries, Egypt