A global ethic for the world economy

In the great ancient religious and ethical traditions of humankind we find the directive: “You shall not steal!” Or in positive terms: “Deal honestly and fairly!” Let us reflect anew on the consequences of this ancient directive: no one has the right to rob or dispossess in any way whatsoever any other person or the commonweal. Further, no one has the right to use her or his possessions without concern for the needs of society and Earth.

To be authentically human in the spirit of our great religious and ethical traditions means the following:

  • We must utilize economic and political power for service to humanity instead of misusing it in ruthless battles for domination. We must develop a spirit of compassion with those who suffer, with special care for the children, the aged, the poor, the disabled, the refugees, and the lonely.
  • We must cultivate mutual respect and consideration, so as to reach a reasonable balance of interests, instead of thinking only of unlimited power and unavoidable competitive struggles.

We must value a sense of moderation and modesty instead of an unquenchable greed for money, prestige, and consumption. In greed humans lose their “souls,” their freedom, their composure, their inner peace, and thus that which makes them human.