Individual liberty is allowed to man only to a certain extent. He cannot forget that he is a social being and his liberty has to be curtailed at every step. – Gandhi[i]
Common Sense, the Social Aspect of Conscience
Human civilization shares a great commonality of understanding that transcends religions, creeds, cultures, and politics: our common sense. To advance common sense is the socially functioning aspect of our conscience. Behind every exercise of common sense is a tie to conscience. The role of conscience in advancing common sense, is to seek the fulfillment of love from within us, for all life.
For example, corporate person-hood: common sense tells us that a business is not a human being, and does not deserve the rights of a human being. Furthermore, a real person is accountable for their actions. The anonymity of corporate person-hood means that no specific person(s) is responsible for corporate actions. Common sense sees no person who can take accountability. Conscience finds the role of business is to serve the welfare of society. Greed at the expense of other people’s welfare is hurtful for genuine harmony, peace, and the fulfillment of love. Continue reading →
Greetings, and welcome to this site! I am the site administrator, son of the author. I’m very happy to announce that we have shifted from our old URL, earthethics.org.in, to our new URL: EarthEthics.org (dropping the last .in). The old url will continue to work for some time, but please update your bookmarks.
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© P.K. Willey Ph.D.
Dear Arundhati Roy,
Greetings! I have been peripherally following your writings, interviews, and efforts since 2008, when first introduced to your 1999 essay, “For the Greater Common Good,” via the Narmada Bachao Andolan website. That was my first awareness of your brilliance as a writer, your wry sense of humour, your sheer, fearless pluck, your social daring, and your patently sincere good intentions. I am touched and inspired by your profound concern for India and for human justice.
In this essay, I saw also your view on Gandhi – frankly a school girl’s view. Following your activities, I now see that a misinformed view of his thought and action has led you to misrepresent Gandhi unfairly to the public around the planet. Continue reading →
India, it seems, has turned her back on Gandhi, and what his life and message have meant for people across the world. It is a hard thought to bear. Is it possible that the great heritage of India, encapsulated through Gandhi’s life, for India, and for the world, that this jewel of inestimable value is being discarded? Continue reading →
One of the big areas of confusion about Gandhi, are his views on technology and machines, and how they relate to his ideals. This angle on Gandhi, like the food-chain, finds building-blocks with duty, varna (social ordering), trusteeship, his vows of non-possession and non-stealing, education, and much more. Indeed, to paraphrase one of our great American sages, John Muiri, it is difficult to pull out a single subject in Gandhi’s thought, without finding that it is hitched to everything else.
For Gandhi, his views on machines were guided by his certainty that:
“God of truth and justice can never create distinctions of high and low among His own children.”ii
At age 55, Gandhi returned to India in 1915, after nearly 27 years abroad in UK and South Africa. Industrialization had dawned heavily in the western nations, noisily processing the spoils of resources and labor from the colonies. His two community experiments in South Africa had shown him the value of communal living in pursuit of high ideals, bodily labor for the common good, simplicity, austerity, and a close relationship with Nature. Continue reading →
Many people think that Gandhi stands for vegetarianism, and passive resistance. Yet does he really? What did his stance on these topics really mean?
Gandhi (1869-1948) was an evolutionary revolutionary. He kept on reforming and expanding his outlook and personal philosophy throughout his life. You can find a Gandhi quote to back up anything. Yet of his written works, at age 63, Gandhi said: Continue reading →
Business and education are two huge forces propelling individuals and society into action. In trying to understand the right role of business, and righteous business creation, we have uncovered many gems, and found new paths.
In life, we meet so many heroines and heroes. We had the great fortune to meet Kerstin Utas (1946 – 2013), whom we fondly called Justine, as justice seemed so much part of her nature and personality. Justine was part of the initial working group in Sweden that started Humana People to People.
She was a person devoted to action, to getting things done, rather than time wasting, shoulder-patting committee meetings.
I only knew her for the last 10 years of her life, and recognized always that I was in the company of someone with great depths, with much to offer, as yet, unexpressed. We sought out her thinking in India, and later in Sweden, on business creation that would have as its goal the upliftment of society. At my urging, she wrote down the guidelines and principles that she and her friends humbly followed to create Humana People to People, now a multinational organization.
Continue reading →