Are there fundamental principles or laws that govern human behavior? If there are what would they be? In my opinion right human behavior should be based on sound values of character which I state as “The Tao of Human Behavior”.
Tao originated in Chinese philosophy and can be loosely defined as “the way”, ‘doctrine” or principle. Clearly there are certain ways that enable one to lead a more full life.
The essence of right behavior can be captured in the following 3 laws
The Law of Immutable Values: This law requires that human action be based on sound principles of integrity, kindness, compassion, tolerance and humility. This law requires that all human action be based on above values. Action based on values will ensure good providence or karma and will ensure enduring happiness.
The Law of Greatest Good: This law ensures that in any given situation when there is conflict among the immutable values as specified in Law 1, the value that provides the greatest good will be chosen among others. This law implies that, in real life, there will be delicate situations where there will be conflict of principles for e.g. there could be a situation where there is a conflict of honesty versus kindness or another where there is a conflict of tolerance versus correctness. In these situations when there is conflict among several values, the course of action taken should be based on ensuring that the act provides the greatest good for the longest time.
The Law of Greatest Good to Greatest Number (dharma): Implicit in this law is that society takes precedence over the self in deciding action. Also this law requires that action taken must be such that it provides the greatest good to the greatest number. This law clearly places the world at large above the individual. Action based on this law will be selfless. However, sometimes the path taken can never make everybody happy. So this law requires that action should be based on providing the greatest benefit to the largest number by choosing an appropriate action based the second law.
These laws are based on good human behavior and sound conduct and have proven value and are the essence of right action passed to us through the ages.
If all human action is based on the above 3 laws, human society at large can be peaceful.