The Code for Global Ethics: Ten Humanist Principles (英語) ハードカバー – 2010/4/27
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
Humanists have long contended that morality is a strictly human concern and should be independent of religious creeds and dogma. This principle was clearly articulated in the two Humanist Manifestos issued in the mid-twentieth century and in Humanist Manifesto 2000, which appeared at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Now this code for global ethics further elaborates ten humanist principles designed for a world community that is growing ever closer together.
In the face of the obvious challenges to international stability—from nuclear proliferation, environmental degradation, economic turmoil, and reactionary and sometimes violent religious movements—a code based on the "natural dignity and inherent worth of all human beings" is needed more than ever. In separate chapters the author delves into the issues surrounding these ten humanist principles: preserving individual dignity and equality, respecting life and property, tolerance, sharing, preventing domination of others, eliminating superstition, conserving the natural environment, resolving differences cooperatively without resort to violence or war, political and economic democracy, and providing for universal education.
This forward-looking, optimistic, and eminently reasonable discussion of humanist ideals makes an important contribution to laying the foundations for a just and peaceable global community.
Rodrigue Tremblay (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) is a prominent Canadian-born economist with a PhD from Stanford University. He is a former Woodrow Wilson fellow and a Ford International Fellow. He is now professor emeritus at the University of Montreal, after having occupied the positions of full professor of economics at the University of Montreal, president of the North American Economics and Finance Association, president of the Canadian Economics Society, and advisor to numerous organizations. From 1976 to 1979, he was minister of Industry and Commerce in the Quebec government. He is presently vice-president of the International Association of French-speaking Economists. Professor Tremblay has written thirty books dealing with economics and finance, some also tackling moral and political issues.
The moral guidelines offered by religion -- that we should be "good" in order to avoid eternal damnation and receive heavenly reward -- also fail to grasp the true nature of human decency. In Mr. Tremblay's book, we learn that this view of "good" behavior derives from an ancient, tribal period where violence, sexual oppression, and dogma were necessary tools for mankind's survival in unforgiving tribal and feudal environments. Religions outlined (in excruciating detail) the hellfire and punishment that people would receive for violating old social norms that, while imperative for social cohesion in an unstable time, upheld exploitive, oppressive economic and sexual relations. Structural inequality along gender and economic lines was the logical outcome of this widespread moral outlook.
With the advent of modern science, technology, and politics comes the need for a new type of ethics. This new moral "code" needs to consider human needs, desires, and rights, not mere survival, as key to what is "good" behavior. It must strike firm ground in defining what behaviors and cultures should be accepted and nurtured, and which ones need to be separated and prohibited as inherently sexist, violent, exploitive, or racist. It must be clear and resounding in its humanistic goals but flexible enough to address complex moral issues and circumstances. This new code of ethics is so necessary today because of the continued existence of old, racist, backwards, and sexist codes of "morality" that still exist in both developed and undeveloped parts of our world.
Tremblay's book covers several areas of moral complexity (genetic patents, free markets, sexual promiscuity, reproductive rights, the role of the state in society, military intervention etc. etc.) by analyzing them through the lens of "humanism." Human beings, he says, need to be elevated to their rightful status as unique, dignified entities of a global community. Science, technology, and wealth must be harnessed to enhance human existence, rather than bended to the will of a privileged racial or economic elite.
He writes of the importance of sustainability, tolerance, sobriety, and equality in nurturing this healthy, vibrant, diverse human community. And he stresses the need to uphold these humanistic values in a world still fraught with superstition, dogmatism, racism, and structural violence. The book personally helped me in understanding the indispensability of each individual human being, and how humanity still has a great distance to go in improving the lives of billions of its members, whose suffering and mistreatment continues to go unnoticed. Hopefully Rodrigue Tremblay's call for moral clarity and action can be the first step of many in changing this global state of affairs.