What is a Global Ethic?
A global ethic
is the vision of a global transformation of ethical awareness
: whether at a worldwide,
national or local level, men and women are dependent on shared basic ethical values, criteria and attitudes
for peaceful coexistence.
Such values can be found in all the great religious and philosophical traditions of humankind. They need
not be invented anew, but people need to be made aware of them again; they must be lived out and handed on.
So there is a need for:
• A dialogue of religions and cultures
, especially a knowledge of common features in ethics.
• An education in values which transcends cultures
. Children, too, need to learn that peaceful coexistence
at all levels depends on observing elementary rules. No society can function without a foundation of values which
binds it together.
• Ethical and intercultural competence in business
. More than ever, enterprises competing internationally
need norms which transcend cultures.
• International policies anchored in law and ethics
: understanding, cooperation and integration instead of
The global ethic programme goes back to the Swiss theologian Professor Dr Hans Küng
, who works in
Tübingen, Germany, and to his book Global Responsibility
(1991). “No peace between the nations
without peace between the religions”
is the principle that guides his work.
Inspired by the book Global Responsibility, the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in
1993 endorsed the Declaration toward a Global Ethic. For the first time in the modern history of religions,
representatives of all the world religions agreed on the core elements of a shared ethic:
• The principle of humanity.
• The Golden Rule of reciprocity.
• A commitment to non-violence, justice, truthfulness and partnership between men and women.