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Should there be such a thing as global ethics?

Should there be a moral system on which all human beings agree independent of cultural characteristics of the community they come from? Is morality defined absolutely or does its definition change from community to community?


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    Jun 24 2011: HasnĀ“t the United Nations established a set of rules which are like "global ethics"?
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948: http://tinyurl.com/8mc59
    The central ethical values in this Declaration are to me:
    1.) freedom of speech 2.) freedom of belief, 3.) freedom from want and 4.) freedom from fear.

    Eva - for me it is not about the heart. In terms of a personal ethical standard I favor the value "empathy" - the quality to feel how the other feels....Or as Kant stated in this imperative principle: you should treat others like you want them to treat you.

    If this single rule would apply world wide, we probably would have no wars and torture anylonger.
    • Jun 24 2011: I could not agree with you more Bernd. The golden rule is the one thing that all religions and cultures have as a guiding principal in theory. Unfortunately, western culture has become so focused on self-interest that we are now using a very narrow view of what is right and wrong...."it would make my life better so it must be right".

      I'm not sure how we can return to the interconnectedness that must be in place so that we can become the society we have the potential to be.
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        Jun 26 2011: Elene,

        The return is one by one..each of us raising awareness in forums like this in our own blogs, in our community, in what we teach our children .

        Just your being here and having this conversation you are co-creating what you seek, you are calling it into being.
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        Jun 26 2011: Hi Elena,

        I suggest we work to change school curriculum. Many US state legislatures have imposed a regimen of fact memorization and "teacher accountability" testing of children on fact memorization that move our children farther away from having a moral compass. As this regimen takes over, our children spend more an more time doing more and more homework that largely wastes their time memorizing a standardized set of fact and vocabulary that removes them from the reality of being persons with responsibilities other than the completion of homework.

        I suggest the use literature, movies, photography, etc., to encite empathy. There should be a class every school day in a students life that focuses on the empathy inspiring arts.

        I suggest we provide them with another class that would focus on having children think through practical problems. Start with a premise like all people matter or treat others the way you want to be treated and work on discussing and writing about what follows in particular situations or for particular policy questions. Engage the children in learning how the facts matter, and thus, how the other discipllines are relevant for answering these questions. This class should meet just as often as any other core curriculum class. Have the students keep a journal with regular writing assignments on such matters. Hold small group discussions of three or four students to discuss the journal entries. Have students write responses to other students journal entries.

        For the most part, these two classes would replace Language Arts. They would effectively teach writing, reading, and the analytical arts through the hands on practice of doing them...
    • Jun 25 2011: Yes , but , Then the question comes that of equal ( just ) implementation , ( UDH 1948) , as you mentioned Freedom of Speech and Believe etc. While its OK to discuss every thing in the name of freedom of expression but we have excluded "same " issues . We discus God , religion believe but there are things which you cannot discuss

      I personally thing that U N has lost its validity , its un democratic , we can't leave issue of Global ethics to UN, I think we need forums like these where people can come together and discuss , only then can we form Global ethics.

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