Ethics for the New Millennium

author: His Holiness the Dalai Lama
published: April 19, 2010,   recorded: April 2010,   views: 23884

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Ethics for the New Millennium is addressed to a general audience. It presents a moral framework based on universal rather than religious principles. It rests on the observation that those whose conduct is ethically positive are happier and more satisfied and the belief that much of the unhappiness we humans endure is actually of our own making. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious belief. Though the Dalai Lama is himself a practicing Buddhist, his approach to life and the moral compass that guides him can be of use to each and every one of us – Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist or atheist – in our quest to lead a happier, more fulfilling life. According to the Dalai Lama our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness as human beings. In the past, the respect people had for their religion helped maintain ethical practice through a majority following one religion or another. Today, with the growing secularization and globalization of society, we must find a way that transcends religion to establish consensus as to what constitutes positive and negative conduct, what is right and wrong and what is appropriate and inappropriate.

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Luida, April 21, 2010 at 9:46 p.m.:

I cant believe, I never thought the Dalai Lama would be like this, he speaks simple and thinks deep.

Comment2 XYZ, April 22, 2010 at 7:29 p.m.:

What a joke!

Comment3 Eva, April 25, 2010 at 10:26 a.m.:

So many commonplace ideas he talked about... Not valuable and appealing enough to reveal what is profound.
Although those "opinions" are really true since they are the truth rather than personal opinions, that does not prove his political point to be correct.

As the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, Dalai, which is a chronic position from generation to generation in Tibet, he is supposed to bear lots of religious thoughts, or even more soul-healing words.

Comment4 Evensong, May 19, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.:

Some of the most powerful and enduring ideas are also the very simple ones. Think of the wheel, the lever or even the bit.

Comment5 Chinese, May 27, 2010 at 12:23 p.m.:

We are concerning the integrity of our country, first. We do not hope that he is dissipating any thought of partitioning my honest home---China.

Comment6 Xaulted, December 6, 2010 at 6:53 p.m.:

With all due respect to the Dali Lama, as to his point where ethics needs to be based on something other then a monotheistic religion or religious 'faith' in general, in which he seems to be concerned for all the 'non believers' of these religions. At the 20 minute mark, He said something that took me by surprise, he said "If we emphasis any moral ethics must based on religious faith, then it cannot be universal."
It caught me by surprise because in one sense he's right, but in another, he's mistaken.

In order for there to be ethics at all, you must have an ultimate defining line of what makes an action "Good" and what makes it "Bad". There must be an objective moral law that dictates whats what. Otherwise ethics is merely subjective, meaning whatever the subject believes is right and good, is ok to do and by definition ethical. But when deriving an ethical principle, one usually doesn't have to dig very deep to know that certain things are really wrong. Rape is wrong, regardless of what religious faith or lack thereof. Moral ethical principles seem to trandscend ones personal preference of worldview. In reality, there seems to be an ethical line that you can very well cross and it is not prejudice or selective to ones belief system. So, in this sense, his statement has merit. But he goes on to say what about the non believers? To which I say, why does that matter?
See if moral principles are the result of an objective (or universal) moral law, then it seems to me there must be a moral law giver & enforcer. Otherwise, why should we accept what the Dali Lama is saying as morally good?
And what happens if we don't listen to the Dali Lama's ethical advice if there's nothing enforcing it or grounding the ethical principles in a way that comports to how the world actually works?
Moral principles don't have to be based on religious faith, but that's only if the faith itself goes against these objective moral principles. Monotheistic faiths have the only legitimate reasoning and logical groundwork to connect objective morality and ethical principles to how the world actually works. All other world views are lacking this necessary grounding & connection rendering morality to be nothing but an illusion and subjective at best.

Comment7 Aaron, July 25, 2012 at 6:09 a.m.:

He is a very bad person who wants to divide his country. He once enslaved people, and now wants to overthrow a peaceful country. How such an evil person however won applauds for his lies!

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