The Global Ethic and Golden Rule

Topic |  

The Global Ethic and Golden Rule

Topic |  

boholano-thumbPresident Ikeda of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and I conducted our dialogue in 2012-13.* This was serialized in the SGI Japanese magazine, and then eventually resulted in our English book in 2016.

This was entitled Global Citizenship: Toward a Civilization of Wisdom, Love and Peace. We launched this book on my 88th birthday anniversary on May 25, 2016 at the SGI Philippines in Quezon City.

As President Ikeda and I engaged in our dialogue, I was inspired by the review entitled “World Religions – Universal Peace – Global Ethic,” a unique interfaith project of Professor Dr. Hans Küng, chairman of the Global Ethic Foundation.

Küng discovered the Global Ethic concept: the Golden Rule and six core ethical standards which all religions and belief systems have in common, namely: “(1) Treat others as you would like to be treated (i.e. the so-called Golden Rule); (2) Every human being must be treated humanely; (3) Have respect for life; (4) Deal honestly and fairly; (5) Speak and act truthfully; and (6) Respect and love one another, and be responsible for your partner’s happiness.”[i]


These are the six basic principles for the Global Ethic which was adopted in the form of the “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic” by the Parliament of the World’s Religions on September 4, 1993.

As Professor Dr. Hans Küng reviewed our world’s religions as well as various indigenous spiritualities, he expressed his “vision of hope” as follows:

No peace among the nations without peace among the religions; No peace among the religions without dialogue between the religions; No dialogue between the religions without global ethical standards; and No survival of our globe without a global ethic.[ii]

What was the significance of the “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic”?

Thereby for the first time in human history, representatives of the different religions and faiths agreed on a set of common moral values and ethical standards which are shared by all of them. Never before in the history of religions has this happened! Herein lies the tremendous significance of the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic for the future of humankind.[iii]

Globally it is instructive and inspiring to learn and observe “the Golden Rule in World Religions” as rediscovered, not invented, by Professor Dr. Küng, namely:


Indigenous Spiritualities. Do not strive to cause your neighbor’s undoing, for as you strive for your own good treatment, so render it to others.


Hinduism. This is the essence of morality. Do not do to others which if done to you would cause you pain.

Confucianism. What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others.

Buddhism. Treat all creatures as you would like to be treated.


Judaism. What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor—that is the basic law, all the rest is commentary.

Christianity. Whatever you wish that others do to you, do so to them—this is the sum of (God’s) law, and (the teachings of) the prophets.


Islam. No one of you is a believer, until you desire for your neighbor that which you desire for yourself.

Sikhism. Do as you desire goodness for yourself, as you cannot expect tasty fruits if you sow thorny trees.

Baha’i. If your eyes be turned towards justice, choose for your neighbor that which you would choose for yourself.[iv]

The idea that became the foundation upon which the “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic” was adopted at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1993 was filled with wisdom and inspirations.

[i] World Religions – Universal Peace – Global Ethic (Kuala Lumpur: Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 2005), p. 3.

[ii] Ibid., p. 5.

[iii] Ibid., p. 24.

[iv] See Ibid., pp. 28–29.

By  Jose “Pepe” Abueva

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply