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The worldwide first Chinese translation of the "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic" will be officially launched on Friday, 16 July 2004, at 8.00 pm at Wisma Kebudayaan SGM, 243 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia's Deputy Home Affairs Minister, H. E. Datuk Tan Chai Ho has kindly agreed to be the guest of honour and launch this very important document which has been made available in Chinese language by the German Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation (KAF) and Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM).
The "Declaration Toward A Global Ethic" had been adopted by the Parliament of the World's Religion on 4 September 1993. This important document had been signed by leading representatives of all world religions and faiths and addresses the crisis of moral values and ethical standards which we are witnessing in societies all over the world. It was the first time in the history of humanity that leading representatives of all major religions agreed on a common document of shared moral values and ethical standards. Therefore, the "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic" is, indeed, a unique document.
The basic precept of the global ethic is the so-called "GOLDEN RULE" which is found in all important religious and non-religious belief systems. In Islam, for example, there is the famous Hadith which reads "No one of you is a believer until you desire for your neighbour that which you desire for yourself". And in the Chinese belief system we find the famour Confucian principle "What you do not want others to do to you, do not to them".
In the "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic" the representatives of the various faiths put forward one fundamental demand to all their followers: "Every human being must be treated humanely." And, as a logical consequence of the GOLDEN RULE, the religious leaders issued four "irrevovable directives":
1) Commitment to a culture of non-violence and respect for life.
2) Commitment to a culture of solidarity and a just economic order.
3) Commitment t a culture of tolerance and a life of truthfulness.
4) Commitment to a culture of equal rights and partnership between men and women.
As has been stated by the spiritual father of the global ethic notion, the famous Swiss/German Prof. Dr. Hans Kueng, "a global ethic means neither a global ideology, nor a single unified global religion transcending all existing religions, nor a mixture of all religions".
Instead, "a global ethic seeks to work out what is already common to the religions of the world despite their differences... In other words, a global ethic does not reduce the religions to an ethical minimalism but represents the minimum of what the religions of the world already have in common now in the ethical sphere".
According to Prof. Kueng the global ethic project "is not directed against anyone, but invites all, believers and non-believers, to make this ethic their own and act in accordance with it".