Much of the content of the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities below was written by members and clergy from the world’s spiritual denominations. It is recognized by our organization and within the Universe Evolutionary Worldview and the Universe community, as part of our statement of "good citizen" responsibilities that we encourage our members to embrace in order to better live a congruent sustainable and spiritual lifestyle (if you are of a spiritual nature,) in the globalized 21st century. Recently, we have added new responsibilities not seen anywhere else in any other versions of this article.
As you read it, use it as a quiz to see how you are doing.
The Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities
Fundamental Principles for Humanity:
Every person, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, race, social status, political opinion, language, age, nationality, or religion, has a responsibility to treat all people in a humane way.
No person should lend support to any form of inhumane behavior, but all people have a responsibility to strive for the dignity and self-esteem of all others.
No person, no group or organization, no state, no army or police stands above good and evil; all are subject to ethical standards. Everyone has a responsibility to promote good and to avoid evil in all things.
All people, endowed with reason and conscience, must accept a responsibility to each and all, to families and communities, to races, nations, and religions in a spirit of solidarity: What you do not wish to be done to yourself, do not do to others.
Non-Violence and Respect for Life:
Every person has a responsibility to respect life. No one has the right to injure, to torture or to kill another human person. This does not exclude the right of justified self-defense of individuals or communities.
Every human being is always to be treated as an end, never as a mere means, always as a subject of rights, never as a mere object, whether in business, politics, communication, scientific research or other areas of life. No person or organization has the right to use undue psychological influence, coercive psychological tactics or any form of physical or technological mind control that robs the individual of the meaningful execution of their informed consent or free will.
Disputes between states, groups or individuals should be resolved without violence. No government should tolerate or participate in acts of genocide or terrorism, nor should it abuse women, children, or any other civilians as instruments of war. Every citizen and public official has a responsibility to act in a peaceful, non-violent way.
Every person is infinitely precious and must be protected unconditionally.
The lives of animals and plants which inhabit this planet with us, likewise deserve protection, preservation, and care. That is, we humans are a part of nature, not apart from nature. Hence, as beings with the capacity of foresight we bear a special responsibility - especially with a view to future generations - for the air, water, and soil, that is, for the earth, and even the Kosmos.
Justice and Solidarity:
Every person has a responsibility to behave with integrity, honesty and fairness. No person or group should rob or arbitrarily deprive any other person or group of their property.
Property, limited or large, carries with it an obligation; ownership not only permits the personal use of property but also entails the responsibility to serve the common good.
All people, given the necessary tools, have a responsibility to make serious efforts to overcome poverty, malnutrition, ignorance, and inequality. They should promote sustainable development all over the world in order to assure dignity, freedom, security and justice for all people.
Economic and political power should not be misused as instruments of domination, but for service to humanity. Therefore mutual respect and the will to mediation should be fostered so as to reach a reasonable balance of interests in a sense of moderation and fairness.
Wherever rulers repress the ruled, institutions threaten persons, or might oppresses right, human beings have not only the right but the responsibility to resist - always initially and whenever possible non-violently.
All people have a responsibility to develop their talents through diligent endeavor; they should have equal access to education and to meaningful work. Everyone should lend support to the needy, the disadvantaged, the disabled and to the victims of discrimination.
All property and wealth must be used responsibly in accordance with justice and for the advancement of the human race. Economic and political power must not be handled as an instrument of domination, but in the service of economic justice and of the social order.
Truthfulness and Tolerance:
Every person has a responsibility to speak and act truthfully. No one, however high or mighty, should speak lies. The right to privacy and to personal and professional confidentiality is to be respected.
No politicians, public servants, members of the military, intelligence agency members, business leaders, scientists, writers or artists are exempt from general or universal human ethical standards and law, nor are physicians, lawyers and other professionals who have special duties to clients.
Professional and other codes of ethics should reflect the priority of general standards such as those of truthfulness and fairness.
The freedom of the media to inform the public and to criticize institutions of society and governmental actions, which is essential for a just society, must be used with responsibility and discretion. Freedom of the media carries a special responsibility for accurate and truthful reporting. Sensational reporting that degrades the human person or dignity must at all times be avoided. The communications media, to whom the freedom to report for the sake of truth is entrusted and to whom the office of guardian granted, do not stand above ethics but have the obligation to respect human dignity, human rights, and fundamental values. They are duty-bound to objectivity, fairness, and humaneness. Hence, they have no right to intrude into individuals' private spheres, manipulate public opinion, or distort reality.
While religious freedom must be guaranteed, the representatives of religions have a special responsibility to avoid expressions of prejudice and acts of discrimination toward those of different beliefs. They should not incite or legitimize hatred, fanaticism and religious wars, but should foster tolerance and mutual respect between all people. Nor should the representatives of religions ever physically or mentally harm or abuse their own members or those they deem to be adversarial to their religious beliefs.
Mutual Respect and Partnership:
All individuals and groups are obliged not to treat other persons as mere sex objects or disadvantage them because of their sexuality. No one should subject another person to sexual exploitation or dependence. Rather, sexual partners should accept the responsibility of caring for each other's well-being and should treat each other in their sexual and kindred relationships with respect and as equal partners.
Marriage, which, despite its cultural and religious variety, should be characterized by love, loyalty, and permanence and guarantee mutual security and support.
Sensible family planning is the responsibility of every couple. The relationship between parents and children should reflect mutual love, respect, appreciation and concern. No parents or other adults should exploit, abuse or maltreat children.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any state, secretive government agency, group, corporation or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the responsibilities, rights and freedom set forth in this Declaration and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
Our world is precious, fragile, and beautiful. The earth and her people need to be cherished and nurtured with care and vision. They can survive and flourish only if a shared world ethic is both affirmed and followed.
As women and men who embrace precepts and practices of the spiritual wisdom of the world's religions:
WE ACKNOWLEDGE that we have fallen short of these guidelines and principles. In many places, our world is broken and in agony. In many places, the suffering is so pervasive that we must urgently recognize the anguish so that the depth of weeping and pain may be made clear. In many places peace and justice is elusive... the planet is being destroyed...neighbors live in fear... women and men are estranged from one another... the young die needlessly.
WE CONFESS our complicity in this tragedy. We have too often failed in the interpretations or the living of our traditions and thus contributed to injustice. We seek divine and human forgiveness so that we might begin afresh to live together with a global ethic.
A global ethic challenges and helps to heal the abuses of earth's ecosystem; the poverty that stifles life's potential; the hunger that weakens the human body; the economic disparities that threaten so many families and nations with ruin; the social disarray of the nations; the disregard for justice which pushes citizens to the margin; the anarchy overtaking communities; the insane death from violence. In particular, a global ethic helps correct all exploitation, aggression, and hatred committed in the name of religion.
WE BELIEVE a global ethic is necessary for healing and celebrating life. This ethic offers the possibility of a better individual and global order and leads individuals away from dispute and societies away from chaos.
WE PLEDGE ourselves as members of society and the world's religions to implement this global ethic in order to sustain our precious, fragile, and beautiful world; in order to serve and to understand one another better, and in order to hold one another accountable for creating ways that lead to justice and peace.
WE INVITE ALL PEOPLE TO MAKE THIS PLEDGE IN THEIR OWN WORDS AND DEEDS:
- Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world and implies obligations or responsibilities,
- whereas the exclusive insistence on rights can result in conflict, division, and endless dispute, and the neglect of human responsibilities can lead to lawlessness and chaos,
- whereas the rule of law and the promotion of human rights depend on the readiness of men and women to act justly,
- whereas global problems demand global solutions which can only be achieved through ideas, values, and norms respected by all cultures and societies,
- whereas all people, to the best of their knowledge and ability, have a responsibility to foster a better social order, both at home and globally, a goal which cannot be achieved by laws, prescriptions, and conventions alone,
- whereas human aspirations for progress and improvement can only be realized by agreed values and standards applying to all people and institutions at all times, we hereby proclaim our agreement with and action-based support for the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities.
(To learn more about the evolutionary vision and community that supports planetary citizenship and universe citizenship, click here.)
This article is derived also in part from the following web documents:
http://users.online.be/interfaith_guidelines/paginas/6andere teksten/global ethic draft text, chicago 1993.htm
(Note 1: The terms Universe Citizen or Universe Citizenship includes the most life-affirming and progressive evolution aligned principles of other movements such as; Cosmopolitanism, Global citizenship, Postnationalism, Planetary Citizenship, Transnationalism, World Federalists, World government, World citizenship, and Earth citizenship while still transcending them with a far larger universe-based scale as well as many other new ideas and principles.)
(Note 2; In order to be the most effective evolutionary and planetary citizen that you can be, one also really needs to be a Universe Citizen. With the universe-scaled evolutionary perspective and universe-scaled wisdom of a Universe Citizen problems that seem unsolvable to an individual holding just the perspective and wisdom of planetary citizens get solved.)