söndag 11 december 2011

Dalai Lama on Religion, Ethics and Secularism

A new book with the title “Beyond Religion” was published a few months ago by Dalai Lama. It is worth noting that also this deeply religious and highly respected man has now come to the conclusion that “religion alone is no longer adequate as a basis for ethics”. Thus, he sees a need to go beyond religion in order to find the kind of ethical awareness and inner values that can be embraced by all and not be depending on religion. Here follows an excerpt from Dalai Lama’s introduction to his book.

“……for all its benefits in offering moral guidance and meaning in life, in today’s secular world religion alone is no longer adequate as a basis for ethics. One reason for this is that many people in the world no longer follow any particular religion. Another reason is that, as the peoples of the world become ever more closely interconnected in an age of globalization and in multicultural societies, ethics based in any one religion would only appeal to some of us; it would not be meaningful for all….     ….any religion-based answer to the problem of our neglect of inner values can never be universal, and so will be inadequate. What we need today is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: (i.e.we need) a secular ethics.
I am confident that it is both possible and worthwhile to attempt a new secular approach to universal ethics. My confidence comes from my conviction that all of us, all human beings, are basically inclined or disposed toward what we perceive to be good…… We are all, by nature, oriented toward the basic human values of love and compassion.
……the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I believe the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics that is beyond religion.”

Needless to say that I very much welcome this approach. What about you?

3 kommentarer:

Emil Ems sa...

A wise man has spoken, albeit also a very optimistic one. Religious beliefs have not prevented mankind to commit also the most atrocious deeds. Neither will a universal humanistic ethics prevent us from being evil. Evil as well as good resides within us; both together define a human personality.
Having said that, I of course subscribe to the general principle of attempting a global humanistic ethics. But we have to be realistic about its effectiveness in fighting evil.

Hans Christian Cars sa...

Here is a comment provided by Christina Julin:

I fully agree with Dalai Lama that religion alone is no longer adequte as a basis for ethics and that there is a need to go beyond religion in order to find the kind of ethical awareness and inner values that can be embraced by all and not depending on religion.

However, I feel sure that Dalai Lama would never exclude religion as an essential source for a spiritual life and human compassion and as an inspiration for creativity, for example with respect to the fine arts, such as music, literature, etc.

Benny sa...

Ethics Without Religion