Evolutionary Ethics: Vision and Values for a World of Insurmountable Opportunities

Alexander Laszlo

Abstract


One of the great leaders of Mexico, President Benito Juárez, once said, “El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz” — respect for other’s rights is peace. Such an understanding of peace carries with it a distinctive intentional connotation, an appreciation of which is necessary for an orderly transition from a materialistic, ego- and nation-state centered world to a global civilization where all can live and thrive in dynamic interdependent coexistence. In fact, an ethic based on concern and respect for all people in the human family, as well as for its life-supporting environment, is a precondition of respect for world peace.

Societies all around the world are currently experiencing a period of rapid and extensive transformation, certain facets of which involve integration toward greater globalization while others involve dissolution toward increased factionalism. In this age of interconnectedness and interrelatedness, the environmental and demographic challenges facing humanity are of equal measure to the opportunities for meeting them. New ways of living in harmony with each other and the planet are emerging – ways that offer a path for all people in the global community to live in dignity and freedom, without destroying each other's chances of livelihood, culture, society and environment. Clearly, action steps are urgently needed to meet the contemporary challenge of change, but the type of action and the ideals that inform it will make the difference between a world of crisis and chaos and one of balance and alignment with nature. An "evolutionary ethic" is the moral and psychological foundation for an orderly transition to a global civilization, just as the structures and provisions of world peace are the relational and sociological foundation for this epochal step. This paper defines the nature of an evolutionary planetary ethic, considers its origins and the chances of its timely spread in contemporary society.

Key Words: Evolution, ethics, development, sustainability, learning society

Keywords


Evolution, ethics, development, sustainability, learning society

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