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For a Better Global Civilization

This year in 2011, we will be 7 billion people [ http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/seven-billion/kunzig-text] sharing Planet Earth, most of the recent increase in world population originating in the developing world, as has been the case since 1950. We were 3 billion people in 1960 and we will be three times that in 2050, i.e. 9 billion people. That's a lot of people who will have to learn how to live together, if they don't want to perish together.

To show you how big the number “7 billion” is, just consider that if you were today to begin counting 1, 2, 3, etc., (at the pace of one number a second), it would take you some 115 years to reach the number 7,000,000,000 (seven with nine zeros).

I- Economists and Ethics and Morality in General

Even though this may be a surprise to some, economists are very much concerned with the moral environment in which an efficient economy functions. That is because an environment of moral decay, corruption and savagery is not conducive to economic development, economic growth and economic progress in general. It is more a recipe for decadence, economic stagnation and poverty.

It has often been observed through history that economic and financial crises and widespread poverty are accompanied by moral decadence, excessive greed, widespread ignorance and by private and public corruption, as well as an unhealthy widening of the gap between rich and poor.

These are characteristics that can surely apply to our current environment. Unfortunately, I also think that things are getting progressively worse, not better, in the sense that I have the uneasy feeling that the world seems to be regressing morally, paradoxically at a time when economic development and education have reached a high level in many countries–and paradoxically also, at a time when religion in general seems to play a larger role in the politics of many countries, and that includes the United States–maybe above all, the United States.

This is what persuaded me to write a book about ethics on a global scale that only superficially seems to be unrelated to the nitty-gritty of economics, finance and the quest for prosperity. In fact, I believe that good ethics is the foundation of good economics.

I am very worried about the future prosperity of our nations, and I ask myself how we can avoid falling into moral regression and even to moral tribalism in this modern global age, and how on the contrary it could be possible to progress morally.

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Albert Einstein (1879-1955) once said "We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive." —I certainly agree. I would add that we should all hope that human beings, who, of all of the species that have ever existed on the Planet Earth, have evolved into a relatively high stage of intelligence and of conscience, would be intelligent enough to bring this evolution to a higher level of global morality.

I am not completely sure, but there are clear signs that justify our optimism.

Indeed, either we stand at the threshold of a major moral regression in the world with increasing conflicts and increasing disregard for international law and global responsibility. Or rather, more optimistically, I hope, we stand at the threshold of a new global morality—a new Global ethics, that will establish in theory and in practice the basic principles of dignity and equality for all human beings.

This means:

–increased tolerance of others;

–more voluntary sharing with others;

–less domination and more beneficial cooperation;

–more respect for our environment and for our Planet;

–fewer wars and waste of resources on destructive armaments;

–more democracy and citizen participation not only in public affairs, but also in economic affairs;

–and, above all, more education for all and especially for the children of this world.

To reach that new level of global ethics, we may need nothing less than a moral revolution in our thinking, a new moral norm, a global moral revolution, to fit the modern problems we are facing today and in the future. Such a moral revolution may even be needed for our own biological survival as a species.

In general terms, let me say that I firmly believe that we should adopt the simple but somewhat revolutionary idea that we are living on the same small planet and that we should attempt to survive on this planet as members of the same human race.

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Please click HERE to access this article, of which I have offered only the beginning and the end. It is lengthy, but worth a read, as it deals with the problems of present-day morality, economics, and the problems of achieving peace through new moral values. Other headings in the article that will prove to be useful:

The sources of our morality

Empathy, Tolerance and Sharing

Is More and Better Moral Education our Way Out?

What about Religion in the Quest for a more Moral World?

Religious morality vs. humanist morality

and Democracy

And to read more about Morality as it is presented in The Urantia Book, please go HERE

Link to External Source Article

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