Third Millennium Axiology
Axiologyǰ the theory of ethicsǰ needs to be considered praxologicallyǰ behaviourally. Beginning with the Fortune 500 corporate scandals and the following global financial crisis ethics has resurfacedǰ as it did and does in all civilizations past and present. It is the perennial struggle of manǰ a major theme and challenge to the human species in all societies. Ethicsǰ that inbuilt sense of what is moral conduct and notǰ whether formulated ex post as a Kantian imperative or in the array of religions or culture- contingent ethical systemsǰ is certainly conditioned culturallyǰ but within the cultural ethical socialization - even in the most collectivist cultures - there is this universal theme that is man’s tremendous freedom and margin of choice as to his individual conduct. All codes of lawǰ all the major religious systemsǰ ideologiesǰ most artistic productionǰ indeedǰ the sum total of human creativity and artifacts are more or less centered around ethical decision making or involve such decision-making. The collective and the individual aspects of the ethical challenge are the two arms of the problem which man must reconcile. What I do with my cultural programming depends on how I use itǰ and how I use it frequently depends on one’s ability to manage such programming and that management will depend on one’s ethical assumptions and evolution. Due to the overriding importance with regard to its consequences for the human species individually and sociallyǰ nationally and globally it should be part of any cultural analysis. Therefore it is part of my Transcultural Profiler (page 17)ǰ which forms the backdrop and the theoretical basis of my approach. Consequently the superordinate levels to the Cultural Levels are the Levels of Ethics and Evolutionǰ followed by the Transcultural or Noetic Level which allows to synergize ethics and cultureǰ to use or to transcend culture. Whether it be a captain of industry or a top political decision-makerǰ the nature of his ethical conduct may make or break powerful corporations and entire societies. And as these days D-Day remembrance is celebratedǰ one must not omit for exampleǰ that an ethical decision against a perceived unethical system by a few individual resistants can and could have impacted the course of history. Those are surely highlightsǰ but the same challenge arises one a daily basis at the individualǰ organizational national and transnational levels. Non-commitmentǰ unfaithfulnessǰ to oneselfǰ and fellow humans in any social setting will jeopardize life as a whole it its myriad aspects and and forms. Ethics is concerned with the life and its integrity. That is the reasonǰ why it is one of the most determinant motives across time and space of human cultures and civilizations. While it is culturally shapedǰ its individual and universal components count:
Drafting a third millennium ethics blueprint can be compared to the challenge of writing the preamble to a world constitution: a monumental challengeǰ if it is designed to be operational and socially applicable. The global Ȉspace-timeȈ of this dawning third millennium requires the integration of an expanding field with a growing number of players in a sustainable equation. The driving force behind the shrinking space and the speed up has been and still remains technology. The challenge architects of a third millennium global civilization face is to reconcile and synergize an x-axis of a unified fieldǰ with a y-axis of an infinite amount of players in a maximally operational and sustainable way.
All cultures and civilizations have developed their codes of ethics in their diverse historical contexts. And since the magnitude of the global ethics challenge has become increasingly pressing and paramount as a consequence of the holocausts of the past centuryǰ diverse attempts have been made to engineer such drafts. In modern times there is first and foremost the Charter of the United Nationsǰ which has been formulated in San Francisco shortly after the World War I. NATO has been created to enforce some of its principles among other objectives. The European Iron and Steel Union of 1951 and the Rome Treaty of 1957ǰ although economic at the surface were an enforced ethical system by indirectionǰ in the sense that it provided a better control of the European economicǰ industrial and military infrastructureǰ which provided the resources for international conflicts. All grew out of the war experience and aimed more or less directly and pragmatically at ensuring the peaceful coexistence among nations.
With the development of nuclearǰ spatial and biological capabilities in the following decades the challenge of creating a reliable system that would be able to regulate peaceful coexistence and the peaceful continuity of life on earth grew proportionally to the challenges posed in these key domains. Around the millennium thresholdǰ concepts like World Ethics have been developed from a religious background. In global economics Codes of Global Business Ethics have been proposed. Yetǰ these constructs remain inspirational blueprints which are challenged by increasing cultural diversity which manifests on the y-axis of the above referred to mapping of the third millennium dilemma. In the meantime the ideologically bipolarized world of the aftermath of World War II has become a multipolar world with regional communities like NAFTAǰ ASEANǰ EUǰ to name but a viewǰ and due to the empowerment of technology which makes global instantaneous interconnection of all coordinates of the planet feasibleǰ the amount of potential players has multiplied infinitely. Soǰ due to the consequences of technological innovationǰ both the y-axis as well as the x-axis are growing to their extreme: global integration of the entire planet on one arm of the dilemma and interconnection of an infinite number of players on the other arm of the dilemma need to be reconciled by a global mind yet to evolve.