Whether confined to ethics — the realm of interpersonal behavior or behavior involving others and other entities, including the living earth with all of its creatures and wonders — or expanded in the spirit and a part of religion, a rule is not a principle, and rules in customs and law are the ropes flowing down from either bad or good principles.
That thought may be abstract, but it is not complex.
The modern conscience worldwide – not west or east, kosher, not kosher, haram, halal, not confined to Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim – wants for guidance in first principles, not rules, which come next.
The world has at hand — and it has had them at hand a while — its best first principles. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml Are such principles inherently eastern, western, aligned with or against any of the great religions or myriad other pathways in the way of beliefs or ethics?
If so, how so, and why?
If not, good.
History begins with the principles embraced within each individual heart.
If the principles have been ensnared in out-of-bounds hubris, narcissism, and vanity, they will fail because such principles would adhere not only to the cult of the person but consign all others to misery. As I believe in God, I believe that God hears the cry of the abandoned, lost, and unhappy, and He — or nature, and our collective gregarious nature — trends against exclusion. However, if you live in South Sudan or Syria or have been the refugee of sectarian violence in Iraq or have been toughing it out in Evin Prison, Iran, in relation to any number of cooked up political accusations, God and nature may be taking more time than wanted as regards the embrace of really bad — anomic, criminal, inhuman, lunatic, sadistic (especially) — principles.
Pakistan has somehow encouraged within itself, or allowed within itself, the distinction of finding a bogey — e.g., The Great Satan — in the “west” — or the “Zionist Entity”, assorted kafir, and such — but always, this only in its conflict aspect, something outside of itself when, in fact, it is itself it’s greatest challenge in transferring power away from persons and perhaps away from bad principles — you decide — toward sustainable good principles.
The really cool thing in humans is 1) we have choices to make individually and communally about how we live, and 2) these choices may be argued and determined first and principally in language in the mind, or, abstractly, in the heart and in the spirit.