Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

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Luke
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Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby Luke » Thu May 13, 2010 5:18 pm

Most kingdoms and nation-states seem to have committed many atrocities and have been full of social injustice.

I was wondering if anyone is familiar with any government during any period of history which was truly ethical--or as close as any government has ever come to being ethical?

All I can think of are some Native American tribes.

The ethics of government seems to deteriorate as the size of a nation grows. Politicians no longer have to look the people in the eyes whom their decisions are killing or cheating. However, being small in number is no guarantee of ethics either, since there have been cannibalistic and warlike tribes in parts of the world as well.

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Indrajala
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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby Indrajala » Fri May 14, 2010 1:54 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Astus
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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby Astus » Fri May 14, 2010 9:18 am

Perhaps the "United Federation of Planets" could be counted among ethical governments, mainly because it is fictional. Another similar idea is the Wheel-Turning King of the golden era - whose heirs inevitably become corrupt by the time. I suppose there is also ethical government in divine societies like the heaven of the brahmas. As for Planet Earth, the Saha Loka, in the present era I can hardly imagine that. I mean, there clould have been wonderful governments in a land of peace and prosperity. Maybe there are some. Until some bigger tribe, bigger nation came and conquered the land, enslaved the population and moved in their own sons and daughters to rule.

By the way, it wasn't clear what ethics should be used to define ethical governments. Plato? Macchiavelli? Confucius? Cicero?
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Indrajala
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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby Indrajala » Fri May 14, 2010 12:47 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Astus
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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby Astus » Fri May 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Huseng,

You're right. The government is there to keep order. In the Aganna Sutta (DN 27) it is outlined how greed resulted in the creation of the position of a judge, from which the position of a king became, and from vices new laws created. So from this point of view, a government is always a way of oppressing disturbing elements of society. But again, we should define what ethics to use. DN 26 gives a nice description of the perfect ruler, a sort of socialist state.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Luke
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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby Luke » Fri May 14, 2010 2:25 pm


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Astus
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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby Astus » Fri May 14, 2010 3:58 pm

Luke,

I guess the Vatican fits that three requirements. Perhaps other countries like Luxembourg, San Marino, Monaco too.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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kirtu
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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby kirtu » Fri May 14, 2010 4:10 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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catmoon
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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby catmoon » Fri May 14, 2010 6:44 pm

An ethical government could only arise from an ethical population, and such a population would need no government at all.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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Re: Truly ethical governments: Have there ever been any?

Postby Clueless Git » Sat May 15, 2010 10:43 am



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