Quotes By Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World

“For a considerable portion of humanity today, it is possible and indeed likely that one's neighbor, one's colleague, or one's employer will have a different mother tongue, eat different food, and follow a different religion than oneself. It is a matter of great urgency, therefore, that we find ways to cooperate with one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect.

In such a world, I feel, it is vital for us to find genuinely sustainable and universal approach to ethics, inner values, and personal integrity-an approach that can transcend religious, cultural, and racial differences and appeal to people at a sustainable, universal approach is what I call the project of secular ethics.

All religions, therefore, to some extent, ground the cultivation of inner values and ethical awareness in some kind of metaphysical (that is, not empirically demonstrable) understanding of the world and of life after death. And just as the doctrine of divine judgment underlies ethical teachings in many theistic religions, so too does the doctrine of karma and future lives in non-theistic religions.

As I see it, spirituality has two dimensions. The first dimension, that of basic spiritual well-being-by which I mean inner mental and emotional strength and balance-does not depend on religion but comes from our innate human nature as beings with a natural disposition toward compassion, kindness, and caring for others. The second dimension is what may be considered religion-based spirituality, which is acquired from our upbringing and culture and is tied to particular beliefs and practices. The difference between the two is something like the difference between water and tea.

On this understanding, ethics consists less of rules to be obeyed than of principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of our nature which we recognize as conducive to our own well-being and that of others.

It is by moving beyond narrow self-interest that we find meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life.”


“All of us, all human beings, are basically inclined or disposes toward what we perceive to be good. Whatever we do, we do because we think it will be of some benefit. At the same time, we all appreciate the kindness of others. We are all, by nature, oriented toward the basic human values of love and compassion. We all prefer the love of others to their hatred. We all prefer others' generosity to their meanness. And who among us does not prefer tolerance, respect, and forgiveness of out failings to bigotry, disrespect, and resentment?”


“But for all its benefits in offering moral guidance and meaning in life, in today’s secular world religion alone is no longer adequate as a basis for ethics.”


“Ultimately, the source of our problems lies at the level of the individual. If people lack moral values and integrity, no system of laws and regulations will be adequate. So long as people give priority to material values, then injustice, corruption, inequity, intolerance, and greed—all the outward manifestations of neglect of inner values—will persist.”


“It is clear that something is seriously lacking in the way we humans are going about things. But what is it that we lack? The fundamental problem, I believe, is that at every level we are giving too much attention to the external, material aspects of life while neglecting moral ethics and inner values. By inner values, I mean the qualities that we all appreciate in others, and toward which we all have a natural instinct, bequeathed by our biological nature as animals that survive and thrive only in an environment of concern, affection, and warm-heartedness-or in a single word, compassion. The essence of compassion is a desire to alleviate the suffering of others and to promote their well-being. This is the spiritual principle from which all other positive inner value emerge.”


“I consider prayer to be of immense psychological benefit. But we must accept that its tangible results are often hard to see. When it comes to obtaining certain, direct results, it is clear that prayer cannot match the achievements of, for instance, modern science.”


“What we need today is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: a secular ethics.”


“In many areas, too, people are having to deal with environmental problems and, with these, threats to their livelihood and worse. At the same time, many others are struggling t get by in the face of inequality, corruption, and injustice.”


“Instead of looking to blame others and the world around us, we should first look within ourselves. This”


“In an age when news travels so fast around the world, our sense of community and our concern for those far away from us have grown enormously. In the early twentieth century, feelings of nationalism were very strong, while awareness of our entire humanity was quite weak. In those days people were less aware of what was happening in other regions or other continents. But now, with global media transmitting news at such speed, we have a deeper awareness of the interconnectedness of people everywhere. Together with this, people’s concern for humanity as a whole, and their recognition of the value of basic human rights, seem to be deepening as well. To me, this trend is a source of great optimism about the future.”


“Millions of people have been lifted from poverty and have gained access to modern education and health care. We have a universal declaration of human rights, and awareness of the importance of such rights has grown tremendously. As a result, the ideals of freedom and democracy have spread around the world, and there is increasing recognition of the oneness of humanity.”


“I do not agree that ethics requires grounding in religious concepts or faith. Instead, I firmly believe that ethics can also emerge simply as a natural and rational response to our very humanity and our common human condition.”


“All of our actions have consequences, and these inevitably have an impact on both ourselves and others.”


“I do not agree that ethics requires grounding in religious concepts or faith. Instead, I firmly believe that ethics can also emerge simply as a natural and rational response to our very humanity and our common human condition. Religion”


“Ultimately, any system, any set of laws or procedures, can only be as effective as the individuals responsible for its implementation. If, owing to failures of personal integrity, a good system is misused, it can easily become a source of harm rather than a source of benefit. This is a general truth which applies to all fields of human activity,”


“A HUMAN BEING survives only with hope, and hope by definition implies the thought of something better. As I see it, our very survival depends on some idea of future happiness.”


“It is not enough to look at any given situation or problem from only one perspective. We need to look at it from this direction and that direction, from all sides.”


“Simply stepping back and looking at the situation from a broader perspective will allow you to approach the problem more calmly. Needless to say, this will also give you a better chance of being able to deal with the problem efficiently. Again,”


“We are all, by nature, oriented toward the basic human values of love and compassion. We all prefer the love of others to their hatred.”


“Ultimately, the source of our problems lies at the level of the individual. If people lack moral values and integrity, no system of laws and regulations will be adequate.”


“We all prefer the love of others to their hatred. We all prefer others’ generosity to their meanness. And who among us does not prefer tolerance, respect, and forgiveness of our failings to bigotry, disrespect, and resentment? In”


“Ultimately, the source of our problems lies at the level of the individual.”


“If people lack moral values and integrity, no system of laws and regulations will be adequate.”


“as we Tibetans lived quite happily for many centuries behind our wall of mountains—the”


“Our inner lives are something we ignore at our own peril, and many of the greatest problems we face in today’s world are the result of such neglect. Not”


“Without a doubt the greatest impediments to our individual well-being and our ability to live a spiritually fulfilling life are our own persistent propensities toward destructive or afflictive emotions.”


“genuine happiness requires peace of mind or a degree of mental composure. When this is present, hardship counts for little. With the strength and mental stability derived from inner peace, we can endure all kinds of adversity. The”


“If, owing to failures of personal integrity, a good system is misused, it can easily become a source of harm rather than a source of benefit.”