Global ethics - CReality

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Global ethics

Religious Order

For a just world, universal and global ethics are needed

[deutscher Text hier...]

Theses on the current problems

1. Whole groups of people, minorities and countless individuals in the world - especially many women and children - suffer from high vulnerability and are insufficiently protected.
2. Politically motivated or connoted violence remains commonplace, legitimate, and used to advance self-interest in many parts of the world.
3. Some governments of nation states and other global actors continue to torpedo the establishment of a just political world order.
4. In many places human rights are systematically violated and often there is no possibility to sue and enforce human rights violations legally.
5. Democracy applies only to a minority of the world's population.

Ideas for possible solutions
The following ethical principles must become the basis of a new world order:
- The principle of personhood and human dignity formulated in the form of positive rights, such as basic provision, fair remuneration, etc., and in the form of negative rights, that is, as defensive and protective rights vis-à-vis the state and third parties;
- the principle of solidarity towards all people, additionally concretized in the preferential option for the poor;
- the principle of subsidiarity, especially in the form of a prohibition on the assumption of competences and intervention, protection against unreasonable interventions, but also as help for self-help
- the primacy of the common good, today mostly understood as the basis for social security and a - limited - social redistribution, as well as a counterweight against excessive particular interests of individuals or groups;
- the principle of sustainability; and
- the principle of social justice (based on Thieme 2017:56f.).

The Lisbon Group (1997:172ff.) proposed more than 20 years ago to implement four global agreements, namely
- a basic needs treaty, which guarantees the basic provision of food, water and shelter for all people,
- a cultural treaty, which promotes tolerance and improves the dialogue between cultures,
- a democracy treaty with the purpose of convening a global citizenship assembly with the aim of creating a "world senate" and a "world federal council", as well as
- an Earth Treaty regulating the sustainable use of nature in the sense of the Rio Agreement of 1992 (cf. Lisbon Group 1997:181 and Meier 2003:46).
These proposals are worth to be discussed in a broad public. In particular, the two proposals of a basic needs treaty and a democracy treaty could prove to be a viable basis for the future shaping of our planet. In contrast, the two proposals of a cultural treaty and an earth treaty are much less binding and less profound - but both could be concretized in the form of basic cultural and ecological rights and anchored as enforceable basic world rights within the framework of a political world order.
Mark R. Amstutz (2013:36), with reference to John Rawls (cf. 1999:36ff.), has formulated eight principles that should apply to liberal democracies - and basically to all humanity:
1. peoples are free and independent, and their independence must be respected by other peoples.
2. peoples must honor treaties and obligations.
3. peoples are equal and partners or parties in agreements that they enter into and that bind them.
4. peoples must honor the obligation of non-intervention.
5. peoples have the right to self-defense, but no right to initiate wars for reasons other than self-defense.
6. peoples must recognize human rights
7. peoples must observe certain clearly specified limitations on warfare.
8. peoples have a duty to assist other peoples who live under adverse conditions that prevent them from establishing a just or equitable political and social order.
In the sense of Rawls, an international law shaped according to these rules can be regarded as a minimum standard for a peaceful and stable coexistence and cooperation of nation-states Adherence to these principles also enables a kind of moral learning (cf. Rawls 1999:44ff. as well as Opgen-Rhein 2009:79). But in the long run, there is a need for regulations and governmental institutions at the transnational level that go beyond this.


Cited Literature
Amstutz, Mark R.
2013: International Ethics. Concepts, Theories, and Cases in Global Politics. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
- Gruppe von Lissabon
1997:  Grenzen des Wettbewerbs. Die Globalisierung der Wirtschaft und die Zukunft der Menschheit. München: Luchterhand.
- Meier, Bernd
2003: Mehr Gemeinsinn! Eine richtige Antwort auch auf die Globalisierung? Köln: Deutscher Institutsverlag.
- Opgen-Rhein, Rainer
2009: Philosophische Theorien globaler Ordnung. Realistische Entwürfe oder nur Utopien? Marburg: Metropolis-Verlag.
- Rawls, John
1999: The Law of Peoples. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
- Thieme, Sebastian
2017: Menschengerechtes Wirtschaften? Subsistenzethische Perspektive auf die katholische Sozialethik, feministische Ökonomik und Gesellschaftspolitik. Opladen: Barbara Budrich.

Book notes
[German books see here...]

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