Introduction

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In this course you will explore the Dalai Lama's framework for moral living. It rests on the observation that those whose conduct is ethically positive are happier and more satisfied and the belief that much of the unhappiness we humans endure is actually of our own making.  Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, based on universal rather than religious principles. 

Compassion, love, and altruism are not just religious qualities. As human beings, and even as animals, we need compassion and affection to develop, sustain ourselves, and
 survive. What is the purpose of life? I believe that satisfaction, joy, and happiness are the ultimate purposes of life. And the basic sources of happiness are a good heart, compassion and love.

According to the Dalai Lama our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness as human beingsToday, with the growing secularization and globalization of society, we must find a way to establish consensus as to what constitutes positive and negative conduct — what is right and wrong, what is appropriate and inappropriate.

That way is what the Dalai Lama calls global ethics. How do we live in this positive way? By learning to cultivate compassion and altruism.