No. It is an ethical project which can be and should be supported by religious and non-religious groups.
On the contrary. It means taking the differences in doctrines, rites and customs seriously and precisely that is why it is necessary to emphasise the necessity for some common ethical norms despite all the differences.
No because there is no common basis for belief between the main religions. The goal is not to unite all religions but to have dialogue, cooperation and peace between the religions on the basis of common values.
Global Ethic is not about artificial uniformity. It is rather anchored in ancient folk wisdom and elementary rules for living, which crystalised in the evolution of humanity and have been laid down in different religious and ethical cultural traditions.
No. The Jewish Tora, the Christian Sermon on the Mount, the Muslim Koran, the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, Buddha’s speeches, Confucius’s maxims, will, of course, all remain the basis for believers of the respective religions.
There are, without doubt, big cultural differences in the realisation of ethical norms. However, certain basic ethical norms are valid (or should be valid) in all cultures. Whether a gangster in Japan or in Southern Italy commits a murder, a minister in Germany or the USA lies to parliament or the general public or a scientist falsifies his results in India or China, or a CFO manipulates the balance sheets in New York or Zurich: normally he must reckon with a loss of credibility and legal sanctions.
Not at all! Especially the emphasis on the humanitarian and the golden rule of reciprocity can be found already in Confucius 5 centuries before Christ. Moreover, the four ethical commandments – thou shalt not murder, steal, lie, or abuse sexuality –are to be found in Patanjali, the founder of Yoga, in the Buddhist Canon and, of course, also in the Hebrew Bible as well as in the New Testament and the Coran.
Ethos is a very helpful philanthropic concept, in general, like the crash barriers on a winding mountain road, which are not intended to constrict, but to help the traveller get up and down reasonably safely. For companies, too, ethical rules are something like guardrails. They help individual employees who can invoke them if, for example, they do not want to participate in corruption or lies. If only a globalization of the economy, technology and communication is realised, and not also a globalization of ethos, then there is no certainty that all this will not expand to the detriment of humanity.
Without the observance of elementary human obligations, there can be no realization of human rights. In all Asian cultures the proclamation of human rights, without obligations to others and the community, is largely considered ineffective. Human rights are easier to understand and justify from the stance of moral duties. When the Indian peace activist Mahatma Gandhi was asked to read the draft of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, he said: “The Ganges of rights springs from the Himalayas of duties!”
Every day, the media report on how traditional ethical norms are being disregarded. Nevertheless, progress has been made in raising awareness of ethical norms in science, the media, international organizations and, most of all, in the field of education. A global ethos – similar to issues of equality between men and women or climate change – is a slow and complex shift of consciousness. The Global Ethic project therefore is a long-term endeavour.
No. There is no body that could represent religions worldwide. Most religions also do not have a body which represents the majority of their devotees. The first “Parliament of the World Religions” at the time was an interreligious meeting with representatives from 45 religious associations and groups. It took place in 1893 on the sidelines of the Chicago World Fair and is generally regarded as the beginning of the interfaith movement. The efficacious figure of this event was the Hindu monk Svami Vivekananda, disciple of the famous Hindu scholar Ramakrishna, with his ardent plea for mutual learning and understanding of cultures East and West. The second “Parliament of the World Religions” took place 100 years later, also in Chicago, and commemorated this historic event. It was there that the “Declaration of Global Ethic” was adopted. Since then, more such interreligious “parliaments” have taken place at irregular intervals, with, in the meantime, thousands of participants from all over the world.
In general Ethos is a very useful philanthropic concept: like the crash barriers on a winding mountain road, which are not intended to constrict, but to help the traveller get up and down reasonably. For companies, too, ethical rules are something like guardrails. They help individual employees who can invoke them if, for example, they do not want to participate in corruption or lies. If only a globalization of the economy, technology and communication is realized, and not also a globalization of ethos, then we have no certainty that all this will not develop to the disadvantage of humanity.
It would be a lot if there were a minimum consensus on some issues. However, the ethical demands behind the Global Ethic are not minimal, but fundamental, elementary, and that is something else entirely. Even the coexistence of every family presupposes certain elementary rules, for example, that one does not lie to one another. In this respect, we should not speak of minimalism here, but of elementary rules.
Both terms are often used in the same way. Yet if one understands them precisely, then ethic means a doctrine of moral behaviour, i.e. an ethical system – such as the ethic of Aristotle or that of Immanuel Kant. For a peaceful and successful coexistence, however, it is not necessary to agree on a certain ethical system. Ethos means something else: it is not a doctrine or a system, but an inner moral, the moral attitude of a person, which is based on certain norms and standards. In other words, a forming attitude that determines a person’s actions. We can, and indeed should, agree on such basic approaches to promote good coexistence with one another.
Ethos is not an addition to, but a dimension of every religion. Every religion includes, first of all, doctrines and various dogmas, secondly, rites, rituals and ceremonies, as well as thirdly, ethos. This third dimension appeals to the Global Ethic in a special way. Global Ethic does not want to replace any of the teachings or rites a religion offers. It only wants to emphasise common ethical standards.
Like many other religious leaders, the Dalai Lama stands firmly behind this idea. He participated in the second Parliament of the World Religions in Chicago in 1993 and was the first to sign the Declaration on the “Global Ethic” which was published there.
Ethos in general is a very helpful philanthropic concept: like the crash barriers on a winding mountain road, which are not intended to constrict, but to help the traveller get up and down safely. For companies, too, ethical rules are a bit like guardrails. They help individual employees who can invoke them if, for example, they do not want to participate in corruption or lies. If we only implement a globalization of the economy, technology and communication, but not also a globalization of ethos, then we have no certainty that all this will not spread out to the detriment of humanity.