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Cultural Diplomacy, International business and Global Ethics

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“Cultural Diplomacy, International business and Global Ethics”

“World’s Religions as sources of global ethics”

Author: Pedro Nonell Torres.

Founder and General Director of EENI- The Global Business School (Spain)

The topics on which I will reflect are the fruit of many years of study, but above all, the results of interaction with people from different cultures and religions. We will talk about:

1. Global Ethics

2. Searching for a Global Ethics model: I will propose to search in India

3. The Two key principles of Global Ethics, that for me are:

a. The Truthfulness of religions

b. Ahimsa or Non Violence

4. And finally: Why do we need a global ethics?

I will talk about business and religion, for this reason I wish to apologize, if I will offend to some follower of religions analyzed, whether through ignorance or lack of information.

1. What is Global Ethics?

We can define Global Ethics as: “The Common values shared by the humanity”

“A common fundamental vision of what is legitimate, just, and fair ...

A global economic ethic relies on moral principles and values that from time immemorial have been shared by all cultures and have been supported by common practical experience." Manifesto for a Global Economic Ethic

Where we can find the sources of global ethics?

I propose: Religions or “Wisdom traditions of humankind”: as one of the main sources of global ethics. Perhaps many people, mainly here in the West, prefer to speak of "Wisdom Traditions" instead of Religions. The great British historian Arnold Toynbee said:

"Who are the greatest benefactors of the living generation of humanity?. I should say Confucius and Lao Tzu, Buddha, the prophets of Israel and Judah, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad and Socrates."

Instead of looking for differences (Concept of Intercultural Management), we will search points of convergence that will help us to facilitate:

• dialogue,

• cultural diplomacy,

• international relations and

• global business.

The ethics of Religions influence significantly on the way of do business in each market, especially in "non-Western" countries. The great part of the humanity - Africa, Latin America, Arab Countries, India, China, Southeast Asia … - is much more spiritual than the West.

It’s also highly recommended to know the ethical principles of world religions from a personal enrichment, as a way to increase the wisdom of each person.

The Science can save lives, but also can destroy it. Religions also have positive and negative aspects. There are many essays about the negative aspects of religions, a reality that history has taught us.

But religions also have a positive side, as sources of ancient wisdom, emanating ethical principles shared by almost all the higher religions and civilizations. We will focus only in this positive side.

NOSE: “The Harijan movement (Untouchables) is too big for mere intellectual effort. There is nothing so bad in the entire world (caste system). And yet I cannot leave religion and therefore Hinduism.

My life would be a burden to me, if Hinduism failed me. I love Christianity, Islam and many other faiths through Hinduism. Take it away and nothing remains for me. But then I cannot tolerate it with untouchability the high-and-low belief." Mahatma Gandhi

Other key sources of Global Ethics

• The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - United Nations (*)

(*) Acceptance in Islamic countries?

In 1993, the Organization of the Islamic Conference presented the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (علان القاهرة لحقوق الإنسان في الإسلام).

A response of the Islamic civilization to the UN declation?

Both declarations shares common values.

But this declaration is mainly based on the Sharia and the concept of "Islam as vicegerent of Allah on Earth".

"... All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the grounds of race, color, language, sex, religious belief, political affiliation, social status or other considerations...

.... All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah ...

... The family is the foundation of society ... Woman is equal to man in human dignity

" Cairo Declaration

There is not any “Hinduist” or “Buddhist” declaration on Human Rights.

• The Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (International Labor Organization)

• The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

Declaration toward a Global Ethics of the Parliament of World Religions (Chicago, 1993).

The Parliament of World Religion was founded in 1893, the speech of Swami Vivekananda, disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, is still remembered. Representatives of all the world religions, leaded by Hans Kung, agreed on the core elements of a shared ethic (*):

• The principle of humanity.

• The Golden Rule of reciprocity.

• A commitment to non-violence, justice, truthfulness and partnership between men and women.

(*)The word "Religion" only appears 10 times (in the 8 pages of the declaration).

Some remarks on Global ethics:

o Is not Proselytism

o Is


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