Our Values and Ethics

Although Green Spirit experiences do not lead to dogmas or fixed truths, in order to form a community we need a set of basic values and common ethical standards. Here is the basic set of ethics proposed by this Green Spirit Community:

Rights of nature

  1. As in the Constitution of the State of Ecuador, we recognize the constitutional rights of nature (Pachamama). "Nature, or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and occurs, has the right to integral respect for its existence and for the maintenance and regeneration of its life cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes. All persons, communities, peoples and nations can call upon public authorities to enforce the rights of nature. To enforce and interpret these rights, the principles set forth in the Constitution shall be observed, as appropriate." (Art. 71) "Nature has the right to be restored." (Art. 72). The different worlds of humans, plants, animals, minerals, etc. complement their energies in reciprocity and should live in harmony and mutual respect. This is a concept in which people and nature have constitutional rights. A concept that promotes a true partnership with nature and takes sustainability into account at all levels: in legislation, jurisdiction and administration.
    (see also: http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Constitutions/Ecuador/english08.html)
  2. We acknowledge the value of the wider perspective that astronomy gives us. We see the Earth as one small planet within a small solar system within a galaxy of a million stars, the Milky Way, one of many billion galaxies. Cosmically seen, the earth is just a speck of dust on a beach. But the earth is very precious to us.

Human rights and obligations

    1. All people have the right to a good life. We fully support the Declaration of Human Rights. We are endowed with reason and conscience and should meet one another in the spirit of sister- or brotherhood.
      (see also:  http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ )
    2. All people have a duty to respect other people and their dignity in action, word or writing.
    3. A healthy environment is both a right and a duty. Every generation has to protect and preserve the environment for its own good and the good of the future world.
    4. All people have a duty to respect the limitations of our planet. They must adapt their behaviour to the planetary boundaries.
    5. Nature and wild places must be conserved for emotional and spiritual reasons.

    8. Children are our future.

    Children need wild places for their physical and mental development and for their emotional stability. Nature is important to children’s development in every major way—intellectually, socially, spiritually and physically.

    All children should have access to
    wild places. 

      1. All people have the right to a dignified, good death that is as painless as possible. If necessary it can also be also self-determined.
      2. There might be something after death but we have different opinions on that matter. And that is okay.
      3. People facing mental and physical challenges deserve equal respect. We do not subscribe to the “survival of the so-called ‘fittest’”. Nature is a harsh master when it comes to physical and mental conditions. People today are often less abled than the top physical condition nature requires of individuals still living in the wild. Through medical and cultural inventions, we humans managed to skip much “natural selection” over the past generations and life expectancy has greatly increased for the very young as well as for the very old. Today we can survive stuck third molars or appendicitis and many other illnesses. Good health and life itself can be seen as a gift from our fellow citizens and the inventions of unknown people in former times. Most of us will be old someday and will suffer from a variety of ailments. So, people struggling with illness or disability deserve your respect. Perhaps you will become one of them in the future. The motto should be: Do as you would be done by.
      4. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government. We want political decisions based on strong direct democratic processes instead of lobby-driven undemocratic ones. Voting systems should be fair and proportional and should not exclude important parts of society. Switzerland's direct democracy is a great role model. Ireland is becoming a role model too. (In 2015 Switzerland was first in the WHO World Happiness rankings, see:
        » worldhappiness.report/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/04/WHR-2015-summary_final.pdf

        See also “The Wisdom of Crowds” by James Surowiecki,
        » en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds

        See also "Citizens’ Assembly, Referendum in Ireland" The Guardian,
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/29/brexit-ireland-referendum-experiment-trustin-people

      5. Economic inequalities trigger crime and social unrest. We want to live in a society of fairness and equal opportunities, not in a strongly stratified society.
      6. We acknowledge evolution. We even repeat our own evolution from reptilian ancestors in a fast-forward mode during our own embryonic development.
      7. Therefore Human beings are not set apart from the animal kingdom. There is no difference, in principle, between us and the great apes. The genetic similarity between bonobo pygmy chimpanzees and humans is 98.7%. Our similar hormonal and nervous systems create similarly complex emotions. We are truly children of the same family (more).

        Animal rights

      8. All higher animals have the right to a good life (bacteria and nematods and suchlike are not included here).
      9. All animals have the right to a dignified, good death that is as painless as possible.
      10. A life in the natural habitat is considered as a "good life" or "good death" regardless of the circumstances. A life in community with humans must be geared to the needs of the animals. Animals are sentient beings. Generally you can align yourself to: Do as you would be done by.
      11. Feeding on each other – animal on animal – animal on plant – plant on animal - is part of nature’s order. Nevertheless, as an empathic being with a choice, you should choose with respect, care and knowledge. 

       

      Equality

      1. Over the past decades there has been a global increase in economic inequalities. Wealth has been transferred to the wealthy. Many states have lost their assets and have lost power and influence according to their losses. Read the WID world report by Thomas Piketty et al.:

      wid.world

      wid.world/methodology/

      http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/einkommensverteilung-deutschland-ist-so-ungleich-wie-vor-jahren-1.3791457


      Society

      1. In 2014 a scientific article was published in Ecological Economics, showing a mathematical model for civilizational collapse which consists of four factors: (1) Nature (carrying capacity of natural resources), (2) Commoners, (3) Elites (economic stratification of society) and (4) Wealth. The model shows that if a civilization reaches the carrying capacity of natural resources the Commoners will suffer. Due to their amassed Wealth, the Elite, which is also in power, will not change course, because they are protected from negative feedback by their Wealth. They will overstretch the system until a total civilization breakdown occurs where all knowledge is lost, the Elites are wiped out and the population falls back to subsistence levels or ceases to exist at all. This has occurred many times in human history and few to none of the lost civilizations have ever recovered their former grandeur. The model also shows that with a stratified population it is difficult to avoid collapse in the long run (200 to 500 years). Steep economic stratification of society, i.e. high levels of inequality are a recipe for disaster.
      » www.sciencedirect.com

       Source:

      ScienceDirect
      Ecological Economics
      Vol. 101, May 2014, pp. 90-102 Human and nature dynamics (HANDY): Modelling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies by Safa Motesharrei, Jorge Rivas and Eugenia Kalnay

      2. We reject the theory of “trickle-down economics” which is nothing but self-serving to the already rich and powerful. Have a look at billionaire Nick Hanauer's TED Talk:
      » www.ted.com/talks

      3. Decisions should be made in councils and circles using the principles of non-violent communication. See also: “Nonviolent communication” by Marshall Rosenberg,  
      » en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication

      4. Democracy is not a free ticket for any kind of belief. Some religions and some political belief systems favour inequality, authoritarian and fascist world views, and the brutal suppression of opposition. Fascists of all colours believe that democracy is obsolete and they regard the mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare “their people” for (armed) conflict. They have a positive view of violence and promote masculinity and charismatic leadership. We look upon those world views - with a religious or political agenda - as criminal and dangerous to a peaceful society. Members of these groups violate other people’s rights in words and deeds and are therefore not to be tolerated. There is a limit to tolerance.
      Economics

      1. Energy has to come from renewable sources. Walk the Green Path.

      2. Instead of an economy of eternal growth and eternal enhanced use of resources, goods and materials we strive towards an economy of steady state, perfect cycles and reuse. The only constant growth sectors can be knowledge and renewable energy. We strive towards a Sustainable Green Economy.

      We support Doughnut Economics. Read Kate Raworth's book on „Doughnut Economics“
      » www.kateraworth.com/

      3. The market does not reward public or environmental benefits of a given product. If two products are equal in quality the market will always favour the product with the best price. Products which are manufactured without any concern for the environment or any protection of the people creating the product will always have a better price than those of companies which spent money on environmental protection and social benefits.  In a global economy, the dirtiest company always wins. Neoliberalism aims at the rule of a free and unregulated market. In the Western hemisphere, neoliberalism has started to continuously undermine and dismantle the social contract of states which aim at equal opportunities for everybody. Only states and international organizations which have the public interest at heart with strong regulatory laws to protect the people and the environment can provide an acceptable and stable framework for markets.
      4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of their interests. Trade unions are crucial to enforce the right to a just remuneration. Sweden and Germany with their law-enforced worker’s participation in management (Mitbestimmung) are our role models. 
      5. In contrast to the “fundamental right to work” many people are unemployed. More and more products are produced with less and less labour. Great financial upheavals like those within the Eurozone in 2015 or the financial crisis of 2007-8 lead to further unemployment. In the developed Western countries, work intensification, IT supported workflows and automation are continuously reducing the number of jobs available. The EU crisis has led to over 50% of youth unemployment in some southern member states. This is inacceptable.

      6. The concept of an unconditional basic income is also worthy of serious discussion. The independence it provides would radically improve living conditions in society and reduce many social problems. Jobs would have to be either attractive or well paid, mobbing and bullying in the workplace would vanish, the stigmatizing of those unemployed would cease, small businesses and start-ups would increase, women (and men) could leave their violent partners, improving the living conditions for their children. Many economic think tanks are currently discussing the concept of various universal basic income models. Some states/countries have already experimented with this concept (Alaska, Brazil). In Germany, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation considers the version of a universal basic income proposed by Dieter Althaus to be financially feasible. The city of Utrecht in The Netherlands is about to start a first real-life experiment with a basic income (2016 onwards). In Finland and Scotland other experiments are planned or being carried out.
      https://basicincome.org/news/2017/10/overview-of-current-basic-income-related-experiments-october-2017/

      » www.theguardian.com
      » www.kela.fi
      » www.theguardian.com

      7. The financial crisis of 2007-8 has highlighted a paradox of the current financial system and politics. Banks usually lend money to governments. Many governments are in debt. But the same governments had to bail out banks in 2008 with credits they had to borrow from banks and now have to pay interest on the same money that they used to save the banking sector. This is absurd. Today's worldwide financial system looks more and more like a cross between a casino and a runaway train which no one is able to figure out let alone control anymore. Governments need to take the reins firmly back into their hands. 
      Recommended Reading:
      Ha-Joon Chang: “Economics: The User's Guide: A Pelican Introduction” Bloomsbury 2014
      » www.bloomsbury.com

      Personal Development
      1. We cultivate an attitude of thankfulness for all that we have received from the plants, the animals, from our fellow citizens, from the earth, from nature.

      2. We face our personal problems. We stop the legacy of emotional damage of previous generations and try to heal ourselves, thereby improving the life of our fellow citizens, our children and our children’s children. After several thousand years of crime, conflicts, wars and struggles - and two world wars within one century - there is probably no-one on this planet who will find inner peace without a little help. Fortunately, ways of achieving this are nowadays available in abundance.
      Community

      15. We have adopted the beautiful focus statement of the Earthlight Community as an outline of our goals (slightly shortened): » www.diggersanddreamers.org.uk

      “We are a spiritually based community of people intending to consciously create a caring, loving, joyful life together, committed to learning and practising a sustainable way of living. We believe we are experiencing a major planetary shift and need to align with this, both individually and collectively. We understand that all life is connected energetically and therefore we all share responsibility for our world and its future. Within this understanding, we aspire to live by the following intentions:

      Our intentions:

      • to co-create with and honour the sacred in nature.
      • to consciously strengthen and acknowledge our connection to the source of all life and its expression through Mother Earth.
      • to serve something greater than ourselves and our individual needs.
      • to nurture our world by optimising our use of resources and to become conscious stewards of any land we are privileged to take care of.
      • to listen to each other in a non-judgemental way, respecting boundaries, belief systems and personal life choices.
      • honouring diversity and celebrating all forms of spiritual expression.
      • to encourage and facilitate healing on all levels, both personal and planetary and be advocates of a joyous and peaceful expression of human life.
      • to share many forms of expression and creativity and essentially to be ourselves"

      This is a basic outline of our ethics
      and values.

      Please add your own ideas and examples in the comments section.