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On the Ethical Development Goals

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This evolving paper examines Ethical Development Goals (EDGs) that could complement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Introduction

The EDGs are inspired by the SDGs, officially known as ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, an intergovernmental set of aspiration Goals with 169 targets.

However, ethical considerations need to play a more central role in the implementation of the SDGs.

The Dalai Lama told his Facebook friends that "grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate," and that religion alone cannot foster values such as integrity and compassion. He instead called for a global system of secular ethics, or a new global ethical code that would be of benefit to everyone, including people who don't follow any particular religion. He said that the new ethics should incorporate the diverse set of values that people of various beliefs hold in common.

 

About the EDGs

For me the purpose of life is to know other people…is to discover what life is. Who inhabits the world? What is it to be human? What can I give to the world which it doesn’t have…a gift for tolerating my presence in this world..…and unless I know the people, I can’t know what it does not have - Theodore Zeldin

Imagine balancing self-interest and caring for others. If this is possible, then:

  • What is the approximate balance between the two today - in individuals, organisations and societies? How much time do we really spend thinking about and then acting on other people's needs?
  • How can we start an open and ongoing debate about what the balance should be - in 2025, in 2030 etc? If we don't do this, then how can individuals really know how to lead a "good" life, how can organisations know what their wider responsibilities really are and can societies really know how to develop fair policies for all?
  • How can we then best collaborate with one other, sharing our good practices and our ideas and reaching out for a consensus on the most effective actions, projects and policies to get us ever closer to that optimum balance between self-interest and active compassion?

What will be the best fora and media for involving as many people as possible in both the debate and the sharing?

What is short, are the human, personal, "ethical" development goals (EDGs) that we should nurture alongside the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

We intend to play a key role in starting to answer such questions.

Evolving list of EDGs

See also:

Halcyon content

Others' content

 

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