With the current globalization of our problems, we need to extend our circle of empathy and view humanity as a worldwide extended human family. As long as we refrain from facing that challenge, divisiveness and unsolvable conflicts will persist.”
Professor Rodrigue Tremblay is an author and Emeritus professor of economics at Université de Montréal. In addition to his writings on economics, he has also written extensively on the subject of ethics; and most recently, on the urgent need for a new level of universal ethics, morality, and empathy to be developed and maintained in the world.
The Super Golden Rule
[In a more universal civilization], first and foremost, the scope of human empathy would be more universal and more comprehensive, and would not merely apply to some chosen people, to members of a particular religion or to persons belonging to a particular civilization. In practice, this would require that we establish a higher threshold of human morality, beyond the traditional norm of the Golden Rule (‘Treat others as you would have others treat you.’)
It would require that we adopt what I call a Super Golden Rule of humanist morality that incorporates the humanist rule of empathy: ‘Not only do to others as you would have them do to you, but also, do to others what you would wish to be done to you, if you were in their place.’ — Of course, the corollary also follows: ‘Don’t do to others what you would not like to be done to you, if you were in their place.’”
Three Interrelated Moral Imperatives
Three interrelated moral imperatives that have always been sound moral values, but which I feel will become increasingly required for humanity to go forward and survive. And I refer to:
- More human EMPATHY.
- More interpersonal TOLERANCE.
- More interpersonal SHARING (altruism and generosity) as a foundation for a more harmonious, for a freer and for a more prosperous world.”
The Empathy Principle
According to the empathy principle, one must aim at treating others as if one were in their place, and not necessarily expecting reciprocity as is the case in the traditional Golden rule of morality that one finds in virtually all moral systems (‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’).
The empathy principle can thus be framed this way: “Do to others what you would wish to be done to you, if you were in their place.
That is why I say that empathy can be the solid foundation of a more civilized global society based on the solidarity of all human beings. It is the awareness that other people can suffer, be happy and flourish just as one does, and that one should treat others accordingly.”
Ten Commandments For A Global Humanism
Lastly, here is Tremblay’s ten commandments for the creation of global humanism, a foundation for the building of a global extended family:
- Proclaim the natural dignity and inherent worth of all human beings.
- Respect the life and property of others.
- Practice tolerance and open-mindedness towards the choices and life styles of others.
- Share with those who are less fortunate and mutually assist those who are in need of help.
- Use neither lies, nor spiritual doctrine, nor temporal power to dominate and exploit others.
- Rely on reason, logic and science to understand the Universe and to solve life’s problems.
- Conserve and improve the Earth’s natural environment—land, soil, water, air and space—as humankind’s common heritage.
- Resolve differences and conflicts cooperatively without resorting to violence or to wars.
- Organize public affairs according to individual freedom and responsibility, through political and economic democracy.
- Develop one’s intelligence and talents through education and effort.
Here is Professor Tremblay speaking further on the necessity for the development of universal global ethics:
[seeing as the video is an extended interview, many topics are covered throughout—fast-forward-to (20min. 53seconds) for content of the Professor speaking specifically on the topic of global humanism]