Morality and ethics
Excerpts from "The Principles of a Global Ethic"
This statement was prepared by about 200 scholars from many faiths, and presented at the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions, held 1993-AUG-28 to SEP-4 in Chicago IL. It was signed by 143 religious leaders
present at the Parliament, and was proclaimed on 1993-SEP-4. The The Declaration
of a Global Ethic formed a preamble.
We have excerpted a number of references to religious tolerance below. The full
text has been published 1and is accessible online. 2
"...Time and again we see leaders and members of religions
incite aggression, fanaticism, hate and xenophobia - even inspire and
legitimize violent and bloody conflicts. Religion is often misused for
purely power-political goals, including war. We are filled with
II. A fundamental demand: every human being must be treated humanely
"...Of course, religions are credible only when they
eliminate those conflicts which spring from the religions themselves,
dismantling mutual arrogance, mistrust, prejudice, and even hostile
images, and thus demonstrating respect for the traditions, holy places,
feasts and rituals of people who believed differently..."
III. Irrevocable directives: Commitment to a culture of non-violence and respect for
"...Every people, every race, every religion must show
tolerance and respect - indeed high appreciation - for every other.
Minorities need protection and support, whether they be racial, ethnic or
III. Irrevocable directives: Commitment to a culture of tolerance and a life of
"...all over the world, we find endless lies and deceit,
swindling and hypocrisy, ideology and demagoguery... Representatives of
religions who dismiss other religions as of little value and who preach
fanaticism and intolerance instead of respect and understanding...No
woman or man, no institution, no state or church or religious community
has the right to speak lies to other humans...This is especially
true...for representatives of religion - when they stir up prejudice,
hatred and enmity towards those of different belief, or even incite or
legitimize religious wars, they deserve the condemnation of humankind and
the loss of their adherents."
III. Irrevocable directives: Commitment to a culture of equal
rights and partnership between men and women
"...We have the duty to resist whenever the domination of
one sex over the other is preached - even in the name of religious
The Principles were written in 1993. I belive that the world has slowly become aware of a additional types of oppression beyond those based on racial, ethnic and religions criteria. I would suggest re-writing the sentence:
"Minorities need protection and support, whether they be racial, ethnic or
"Women and minorities need protection and support, including minorities based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other criteria."
However, even in the year 2011, there are a half dozen countries where sexually active sexual minorities can be charged with a capital crime. Thus, it would probably be impossible to reach a worldwide consensus on such a change in 1993 or now.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Joel Beversluis, Ed, "A SourceBook for Earth's Community of
Religions", New World Library (2000).. Read reviews and/or order a copy safely from Amazon.com's online book store
- Hans Küng, "Explanatory remarks concerning a 'Declaration of
the Religions for a Global Ethic." The essay includes the
declaration itself. See: http://groups.yahoo.com/