Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 20

Compa ssionate Integrit y Tr a ining A S e cu l a r Ethic s A ppr oac h to C ulti vat ing Pe rs on al, S o ci al and E n vir on me n tal F lo u r i shing Foundational Concepts Learning Outcomes Content T his section covers the foundational concepts that underlie all of Compassionate Integrity Training. It draws from recent developments in various scientific disciplines and provides some of the theories and the research upon which CIT is built. ● Participants will explore how we all want happiness and to avoid distress, harm and difficulties. ● Participants will explore how humans are social beings that require cooperative groups to survive. ● Participants will explore how our wish for happiness and need for others means that we all are oriented toward kindness and compassion over selfishness and meanness. Having compassion and kindness at the core is a shift away from darker views of human nature as unrelentingly selfish and fierce. ● Participants will learn about neuroplasticity The First Fundamental Shift: Our Basic Orientation Toward Kindness For thousands of years, people have wrestled with the questions, “What is at the heart of the human being? What is it that truly drives human beings?” Philosophers, theologians and other academics have asked these questions for most of human history. They have wondered if humans are driven by purely selfish motives and whether human beings are inherently evil. The 17th century English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, believed that without government to control the population, the “state of nature” and the fact that people change over time would drive humanity into a “war of all against all.” 5 through practice. Hobbes’s ideas exemplify what primatologist Frans DeWaal ● Participants will explore how all human beings have inherent value. calls the “veneer theory,” namely that morality is only a thin veneer hiding our inherently selfish nature. For many biologists stretching back to Thomas Henry Huxley, an early proponent of Darwinism, to George C. Williams Practice today, morality is not believed to be inherent to human ● Participants will gain a greater understanding nature and is a very late development in the history of of their values and how those values are humankind. 6 Without religious systems, laws and other grounded in their basic orientation toward restrictions put in place to hold back our selfish and kindness, care and compassion. unethical tendencies, they argue, we would live in chaos. ● Participants will gain a deeper appreciation In recent years, there has been a significant shift from this for their inherent value and innate potential view of human beings as basically selfish and completely as a human being. driven by that self-interest to a view of humans as mainly Ce n t e r for Compa s sion , I nteg r i t y and S e cu l ar E t hics | L ife Uni ve rsi t y | M ar ie t ta, G e or g i a - 14 -