The ethical behavior conduct is one of the most important features
of the human being which distinguishes it from other creatures. We can define it
as "the sum of the spiritual features and manners which lead to label a man as good
or bad, and the conscious treatments coming out of those features." It belongs completely
to the human being both as an emotion and as a conscious attitude.
Due to his existence, human being possesses his concern for decency inwardly.
The human being is always looking for the answer of the question 'what is good or
bad' deteriorating himself continuously.
Three basic theses are to be seen about the source of the ethics during the course
of the human history. The principles of revelation, i.e., theses of religions, belong
to the first group. The second group comprises the theses of the different philosophical
doctrines, which deal with ethics referring to the reason. The anthropological and
sociological theories focusing on the social dimension of ethics belong to the third
Philosophers discuss the essence of good due to the nature of philosophy. Nevertheless,
they avoid themselves of suggesting concrete manners. On the other hand, prophets
proposed always model forms of manners in every spheres of life while discussing
what is good and what is bad?
According to the sociologists and anthropologists, people had to invent some
moral principles, in order to be able to live in a society peacefully and in order,
to get on well with each other, to be happy.
Currently, we live in a conceptual disorder related to the social life. Apart
from this chaos, the abundance of the subjective value judgements, mundanization,
hedonism, the broadening of the tolerance against the immoral behaviors necessitate
to invent new approaches on 'ethics'. Because, the moral crisis in the actual world
is not a phenomenon independent from the Islamic societies. The whole humanity stands
against the moral crisis. The problems we come across in the practising of the Islamic
ethics and creeds are very significant indicators of our need to 'ethical codes'
in every spheres of the social life.
The last prophet Hz. Muhammed (sav) offers us a value system encompassing all
of the spheres of life while telling "I have been sent to fulfil the good ethics".
We find it very important to attract our attention to the good ethic of the Prophet
in our age when the ethical sensitivity has been degenerated and the value judgements
have been complicated.
The basic aim of Islam is to put forward an excellent ethical system and to provide
for humans a consistent life with this system. In the words of Bediüzzaman, 'the
aim and the duty of humanity is to treat according to the divine Ethics and good
moral quality.' And as being appropriate to this aim, a perfect example of ethical
behavior has been continuously emphasized in the Qur'an, the source of Islam, and
in the treatments of the Prophet.
Bediüzzaman has stressed very often that the social peace and happiness could
only be achieved with a virtuous society. Thus, he calls our attention to the representative
capability of the Muslims by pointing 'If we would express the goodness and perfection
of the Islamic morality and of the truths of belief, then the subjects of other
religions will convert to Islam definitely.' It is a certain fact that the current
humanity needs excessively an ethical understanding based on the revelation and
the tradition of Prophet, from which a certain lifestyle emerges.
The dossier in this issue comprises of the papers and concluding remarks of the
'IIIrd National Congress of Risale-i Nur' on Ethics, which has been organized by
Risale-i Nur Enstitüsü in Istanbul. We believe that these texts will offer new perspectives
about our understanding of 'ethics' due to their comprehensive discussion in 'ethics'
around the subject The Source of Ethics; the Ethics and Change in Public Sphere;
The Personal Life and Ethics; Science and Ethics; Universal Ethics and Qur'an.
We wish to be able to meet you again in our next, 96th issue, with the dossier
subject of Human Rights.