Introduction: Global Ethics

Are there any moral values or ethical principles on which the religions agree enough for them to take action together on the problems facing society and the world?

In other Units we will see how some people from all religions are working together to protect the Environment, to create a more just and peaceful world and to relieve suffering. Do you know of any multi-religious groups that are doing this?

But remember that ‘religions’ are an abstraction and that people who belong to a faith tradition agree and disagree both with other members of that tradition and with those who belong to other traditions.

Even so, there may be agreement on ethical principles and disagreement on how these are to be applied.
Do you think there is any ethical principle on which all religions agree?

The Declaration Toward a Global Ethic, which we shall look at later, says there is. It claims:

There is a principle which is found and has persisted in many religions and ethical traditions of humankind for thousands of years: What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others! Or in positive terms: What you wish done to yourself, do to others!

The Global Ethic itself says: You must treat others as you wish others to treat you.

Some people believe that if the religions can identify and make known the ethical principles on which they are agreed this will be a vital contribution to social cohesion and to world peace….(Read more)