Ethics and Globalization Beppe Robiati
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© Beppe Robiati   Design & Webmaster: Claudio Malvezzi
Author & ©: Beppe Robiati   Design & Webmaster: Claudio Malvezzi
Author & ©: Beppe Robiati   Design & Webmaster: Claudio Malvezzi
Ethics and globalization
ETHICS and GLOBALIZATION The term "ethics" deriving from the Greek "habit, way of life" " entered in common use with Aristotle who titled in this way his treatise of philosophy in practice (Guido Calogero, Enciclopedia Italiana XIV [Treves, Treccani, Tumminelli, 1932], 447, s.v. «etica») ...) Since then the term has remained an aquired term within philosophy, just like that part of philosophy "that after logic, doctrine of knowledge, and physics, doctrine of reality, established how mankind had to practically behave vis a vis this new reality" (ibidem). The term, often also identified as morality, has there been "consecrated as a technical term for the designation of every doctrine that is pseculatively elaborated around the problem of the practical behaviour of mankind" (ibidem). Therefore we can mean by the term ethics that area of moral philosophy that studies human behaviour, the science of habits and of social relationships. We ask ourselves if together with this definition, there exist possible modifications of the meaning of ethics in this modern world characterized by rapid changes. The personal choice that directs the behaviours of in specific social situations is generally based upon moral principles of a religious kind, that differ in the different regions of the planet. For example in the West a behaviour is considered as ethical if it is in harmony with some of the laws deriving form the Jewish-Christian behavioural codes of the Old and New Testament, as per the example of the ten commandments. In Muslim countries the ethical behaviour depends on the coherence with the laws of the Coran, the sacred book of the Muslims, and so on in the various parts of the planet. In the West another generic "good ethical behaviour" has been come about, meant as "good human behaviour", indipendently of moral considerations of a religious kind linked instead to the "common sense of the father of the family". An innovative structure of ethics can be found in the writings of Baha'u'llah, an extraordinary Individual who lived in the second half of the 19th century. Prisoner for the almost entirity of his life because of His innovative ideas and His pioneering definition of the rules of life, Baha'u'llah wrote many pages on many subjects, from which one can note that Ethics derives from justice. Therefore to examine the field of ethics, we need to first examine, that of justice. Therefore the study of ethics can be divided into two fields: Justice at individual level and collective justice. The need for this distinction arises from the difference between ethics at the individual level and ethics at the collective or group level. We can now deepen together the main definitions of justice, and of ethics, where it stems from, in the light of Baha'u'llah's writings: A. At the individual level. At the individual level, justice is that faculty of the human soul that enables each person to distinguish truth from falsehood. In the sight of God, Bahá’u’lláh avers, justice is “the best beloved of all things” since it permits each individual to see with his own eyes rather than the eyes of others, to know through his own knowledge rather than the knowledge of his neighbor or his group. It calls for fairmindedness in one's judgments, for equity in one's treatment of others, and is thus a constant if demanding companion in the daily occasions of life (Bahá’í International Community, “The Prosperity of Humankind,” The Bahá’í World 1994-5. An International Record [Bahá’í World Centre, Haifa 1996] 279). In order to make possible the realization of the conditions outlined in the definiton of justice at he individual level (“faculty of the human soul that enables each person to distinguish truth from falsehood”) it is necessary to be in possession of the necessary means in order to "distinguish truth from falsehood". These means are available, but need to be developed. Therefore justice