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Ethics for the New Millennium
by Dalai Lama
ISBN 1573220256 / 9781573220255 / 1-57322-025-6
Publisher Riverhead Press
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In a modern society characterized by insensitivity to violence, ambivalence to the suffering of others, and a high-octane profit motive, is talk of ethics anything more than a temporary salve for our collective conscience? The Dalai Lama thinks so. In his Ethics for the New Millennium, the exiled leader of the Tibetan people shows how the basic concerns of all people--happiness based in contentment, appeasement of suffering, forging meaningful relationships--can act as the foundation for a universal ethics.
His medicine isn't always easy to swallow, however, for it demands of the reader more than memorizing precepts or positing hypothetical dilemmas. The Nobel Peace laureate invites us to recognize certain basic facts of existence, such as the interdependence of all things, and from these to recalibrate our hearts and minds, to approach all of our actions in their light. Nothing short of an inner revolution will do. Basic work is required in nurturing our innate tendencies to compassion, tolerance, and generosity. And at the same time, "we need to think, think, think ... like a scientist," reasoning out the best ways to act from a principle of universal responsibility. Like a merging of the care and compassion of Jesus, the cool rationality of the Stoics, the moral program of Ben Franklin, and the psychology of William James, Ethics for the New Millennium is a plea for basic goodness, a blueprint for world peace. --Brian Bruya [via]