Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Alternatives to consumer culture focus of new Baha'i document

Alternatives to consumer culture focus of new Baha'i document

NEW YORK — A new statement challenging the common assumption that human beings are slaves to self-interest and consumerism has been issued by the Baha'i International Community.

"Much of economic and psychological theory depicts human beings as slaves to self-interest," it says. "The faculties needed to construct a more just and sustainable social order – moderation, justice, love, reason, sacrifice and service to the common good – have too often been dismissed as naive ideals. Yet, it is these and related qualities that must be harnessed. ..."

"The document deals with the issue of consumerism by reflecting on the question of what is human nature," he said. "We must look at who we are and what our purpose in life is.
"The transition to sustainable consumption and production is one of the great challenges of our times, and to achieve it will require a transformation in both thought and action. The cultural forces at play are powerful and demand re-examination if we are to move forward," he said.
The statement can be read at


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