Our Shared Humanitarian Values and Principles
Like waves surging on a beach during an incoming flood tide each successive religion and divine messenger has brought new insights, wisdom, and ethical guidance to humankind.
Through surveying these successive revelations and guidance of the world’s leading religions and philosophers over the ages, we can identify a surprisingly coherent set of agreed and shared concepts concerning universal human values and ethics.
Over the ages, humankind has almost unknowingly been developing a collectively agreed Universal Human Ethic. This has been driven by the guidance and divinely inspiredwisdom of successive prophets across the world’s main religions and through the more secular contribution of the world’s great thinkers and philosophers.
The “Golden Rule” of treating others as you would like them treat to you is found in almost all religions, ethical systems and philosophies throughout history and still in existence today. This basic value can be found in the teachings of Confucius in China, and in the philosophical discussions of Socrates in ancient Greece.
The same principle is found in the Christian Bible, the Jewish Talmud and the Islamic Koran. The great German philosopher Emmanuel Kant (1724–1804) included it in his Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals and it is also a basic tenet of humanist philosophy.
In surveying the scriptures and writings over the ages by the major world religions and philosophers, it is evident that there exists a remarkable correlation and agreement concerning the universally most desirable human virtues that we uphold and respect. Taken in chronological order:
Indigenous Spirituality (Circa30,000 BCE): Building on an intrinsic spiritual awareness and inbuilt instinctive values from the very early days of mankind and at least 15,000 years before the last ice age: Balance, and truth seeking, courage, generosity and humility, deep respect for all living things and the environment (Mother Earth)
The Hindu Faith (Circa 2000 BCE): Non-violence, mind and sense control, tolerance, hospitality, compassion, protection, respect, wisdom, austerity, celibacy, honesty, and cleanliness.
The Jewish Faith (Abraham Circa 2000 BCE, Moses 1500-1350 BCE): Reverence for God, equality, love and kindness, justice and mercy, respect for Nature, truth, intellect, and free will, study and prayer.
The Zoroastrian Faith (Zoroaster Circa 1000 BCE): Justice, self-reliance, compassion, charity, service and civic responsibility.
The Taoist Faith (Lao Tse 580-500 BCE) The Three Jewels recognized in the Taoism faith are compassion, moderation and humility. They are also translated as kindness, simplicity, and modesty.
The Buddhist Faith (Buddha 563-483 BCE): Generosity, moral discipline, patience & tolerance, wisdom, energy, renunciation, truthfulness, determination, loving, kindness and equanimity.
Greek Philosophy (Socrates 469 – 399 BCEPlato 427 – 347 BCE):The Four Cardinal Virtues: justice, prudence, fortitude and temperance.
The Christian Faith (Jesus 7–2 BC/BCE to 26-36 AD/CE): The Seven Holy Virtues: humility, kindness, forgiveness, diligence, charity, temperance/self Restraint and chastity / purity.
The Islamic Faith (Muhammad 570-632 CE): Drawing from the Qur'an and sayings and practice of Prophet Muhammad, a detailed list of human virtues is recognized: charity, contentment, courtesy, courage, dignity, discipline, firmness, frankness, frugality, generosity, good speech, gratitude, honesty, hope, humility, justice, kindness, loyalty, mercy, moderation, patience, perseverance, prudence, purity, repentance, respect, responsibility, righteousness, sincerity, spirituality, tolerance trustworthiness, unity and wisdom.
The Sikhism Faith (Guru Nanak 1469-1538 CE): Truth, contentment, compassion, humility and love.
The Baha’i Faith (Baha'u'llah 1817-1892 CE): Compassion, courage, generosity, honesty humility, justice, kindness, love, loyalty, moderation, patience, perseverance, reliability, self discipline, tolerance, trustworthiness, truthfulness, unity and wisdom.
Our Shared Human Virtues: In summary the following list appears to represent our remarkable consensus across the Worlds Religions: compassion, moderation, courage, patience, generosity, self-discipline, honesty, tolerance, humility , justice, trustworthiness, truthfulness, kindness, unity, love, and wisdom.
Many of these virtues cannot be explained by scientific evolutionary theory/survival of the fittest but rather appear to be reflecting some deeper spiritual/humanitarian significance and / or some intrinsic genetic memory.