For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 30 June 2013.
In Sydney recently, the Dalai Lama claimed that secular ethics was best placed to assist the “moral crisis” facing the world’s people. It’s too hard to choose which religion has the right ethics, so it’s better to go with the easy option and choose secular ethics.
What the Dalai Lama neglected to tell us is that there is no universal secular ethics, and those who claim to live according to a brand of secular ethics tend in practice to merely possess a different kind of religious belief.
Similar faulty logic underpins the secular ethics classes championed by the NSW Department of Education in its campaign to provide an alternative to special religious education in state schools.
I have yet to hear of a comprehensive ethical system that has stood the test of time and does not draw on the resources of one or more of the world’s major religious traditions.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.