Honesty as the Basis of Universal Ethics

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There are people who believe that religion is not necessary for behaving ethically in life. They feel that such values as love and compassion are independent of any religion. I call these values “universal ethics” or “universal beliefs.” Even without religion, even as non-believers, we can promote ethics in our lives.

The basic premise of universal ethics is that everyone is completely equal in wanting to be happy, wanting to be loved, and wanting to be respected. India's constitution is based on the universal principles of universalism, which respects all traditions and all religions without preference. The goal of Indian wisdom has always been to create a more peaceful world through moral education and ethical awareness. Education has indeed set milestones in the fields of science, economy, politics, technology, arts and literature. But aren't they unimpressive compared to the problems faced by the common man today?

The transformational style of teaching is based on the universal principle that all of mankind is one family. The qualities of humanity and integrity, and faculties such as logic, empathy, moral reasoning and intuition, are required to realize the full potential of students’ minds and emotions. Education, without universal ethics, is almost always geared toward economic development, which solves neither mental problems at the individual level nor social problems at the macro level.

If changes in technology are promoting new ways of “doing,” then universal ethics will promote a new way of “being.” Evolution occurs when beings embrace doing. The exponential growth of technology leads to serious questions, such as how universal ethics might enunciate self-transformation and bring peace and freedom for humanity, and how do we build a strong and sustainable character of the self?

Without an open mind, we cannot grow. Transformation is required of both the teacher and the student. If you want to be a good human being, there is no other way than adopting ethical means and values. I have my identity, but I must accept that plurality exists in society. Universal ethics makes one stronger and self-actualized. People are sometimes confused, thinking that if you want to be a winner in the materialistic world, you need to sacrifice ethics. But even in the materialistic world, if you want to become a billionaire, you need to be dependable. To be dependable, you need to be ethical and honest. If you have a wonderful cook at home and you appreciate him a lot, but one day you discover that the cook has started stealing money from your pockets, you will have to oust him from the house. If you cannot tolerate dishonesty from your subordinates, how do you expect your boss to accept your dishonesty?

These things are so simple to understand. It is not complex at all.