Moral human & spiritual values in Children Moral Versus Spiritual Values Scientific Achievements : As you know, in science we have made many extraordinary and incredible achievements. We have split the atom, and now we are trying to solve the microstructure of matter. In space, we have landed on the moon, and we have made space probes as far as the distant planet of our solar system. Through communication, we can watch the globe on the TV screen, and the television brings to us instant coverage and analysis of distant parts of the globe.
In medicine, in the operating room, we are now transplanting a pulsating heart. Sixties and Hippieism : On the other hand, there are a few who would deny degradation, deterioration and the decline of our moral values. Most psychologists and sociologists believe that since the sixties, the beginning of hippieism, when a group of young people started rejecting the conventional dress and behavior and using psychedelic drugs we have experienced a social indifference toward moral values.
The mentality has been “The heck with traditional values. I want to feel what I want to feel and do what I want to do and who cares about the consequences”. Consequences : Well, the consequences are what we are facing with today: emotional pain and breaking down of all barriers and relationships of husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and teachers and students. These are barriers that were once considered to be pivotal principles of Confucius ( jen ) and all past religions of the world. Social Disorders :
I have traveled all around the globe. I have noticed that despite all of our scientific achievements, people are more and more unhappy. They are living with agony of the mind and spirit. They are divided and discontent. Families are separating. People are addicted to drugs and alcohol. They are suffering from AIDS. They are suffering from all kinds of mental illnesses. The number of prisons is increasing and still there is not enough room for the criminals. The number of psychiatric beds is also increasing. What Went Wrong :
One may ask, despite so many achievements in science and technology, why should we have so many problems in our society? Could it be that we have paid most of our attention to science and little or no attention to our moral and spiritual values? Well , that is what we are going to discuss during this forum. Our three Faculties : As you are aware, there are three faculties in our body each faculty originating from a separate compartment and each has it’s own important function. If we draw a triangle, each side of the triangle will represent one of these faculties: - sensual faculty originating from our physical senses 2- rational or intellectual faculty originating from our mind and 3- moral faculty originating from our conscience. Philosophers such as Confucius and Plato first explained this categorization of human realities. Man’s Distinction : From these three faculties only one exists in animals and that is the sensual faculty. Human beings, however, are distinguished from animals for having the two other faculties that is intellectual or rational and moral faculties. Moral Being :
Confucius states that man is a rational and moral being, distinctive from all other forms of creatures. And although, in human beings these two faculties are present at birth, they need cultivation and nurturing in order to develop to their full potential. It is obvious that if these two faculties remain dormant and are not developed, the sensual principles will dominate. Moreover, among the two faculties of intellect and moral, priority goes to the moral faculty. In other words, it is a general opinion that a moral illiterate and unlearned man is much more superior to an immoral learned scientist.
Nurturing Moral Values : Mencius, who is acknowledged to be the greatest successor of Confucius and many other philosophers, believes that the whole duty of man is to actualize his essential nature and this to be accomplished by cultivating and nurturing the moral values until their influence pervades his whole being. Mencius stresses that if man’s nature, that is moral values, was left uncultivated, he would become like that of the animal. And Confucius believes that in conflict between reason and desire, the moral faculty should be arrayed on the side of the rational principles.
Moral Values and a Compass : Moral values in our lives could be compared with a compass. As the compass directs the ship through the storm, at sea, moral values direct us through challenges in life. But why do people not like to follow their conscience and moral values? There are several reasons but perhaps the most important of all is a craving and a strong desire towards freedom without responsibilities. People throughout the world like freedom and they fight for it. They are against anything that would interfere with their sense of freedom.
Uncontrolled Freedom : But according to one of famous eastern philosophers, uncontrolled freedom is of the animal. Because animals operate on instinct. They don’t have choices, therefore we cannot expect responsibility from them. Human beings, on the contrary, are charged with responsibilities because they can make choices. Animal instinct versus human responsibilities Unfortunately, some people in our society are operating on animal instinct instead of human responsibilities. Can we have uncontrolled and mindless freedom in driving?
If we truly were free, in driving for example, all intersections would be festivals of blood and twisted metals instead of civilized, organized traffic with light signals dictating driving behavior. The same thing is true with our society. Uncontrolled freedom causes chaos in our society and this is exactly what we are experiencing today, all over the world. The moral values control freedom and that is why so many people are against it. Pleasure Versus Happiness : Another reason why people do not like to follow their conscience and moral values is a belief in pleasure versus happiness.
Happiness and pleasure, while a balance of them is a great formula for a satisfactory life, the confusion between the two and the emphasis on the pleasure have been devastating. Because pleasure or fun which is an immediate personal gratification is part of the animal kingdom. It is always temporary and often superficial, with long-term suffering and pay offs. Whereas happiness is associated with immediate deprivation and sometimes frustration, but with long-term enjoyment. People now-a-day have more of a tendency towards pleasure and immediate gratification rather than happiness with long-term enjoyment.
Golden Rule About 2500 years ago when one of his disciples asked Confucius “is there a single word that one can live by, all one’s life? ” He replied: “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself. ” This principle, later became known as the “principle of applying a measuring square” to say, it is a principle by which one uses oneself as a standard. That is to regulate one’s conduct. It was stated that every one has within himself the “measuring square” for conduct and can use it at any time.
For example if a person does not wish others to show arrogance or jealousy toward him, he should refrain from showing such arrogance or jealousy. This principle which later was named the Golden Rule, is the basis of all moral education and can be found in the sacred literature of the world. Is strong Moral Values Enough ? Emanuel Kant, the German philosopher, believed that it is not enough to have a strong moral faculty. He said unless the moral faculty is reinforced by three other beliefs, it will not function properly. Those are beliefs in human volition, in immortality and in a creative force.
He further explained that if human beings do not consider themselves responsible and accountable for their deeds, how would they follow their moral values? And so long as man believes that the end of his physical life is the end of his entire existence what motif should prevent him from immoral deeds and immediate personal pleasure and gratification, which is part of animal kingdom and always temporary and often superficial? And finally, unless they have a belief in a metaphysical superpower that supervises and oversees their deeds, why should they follow their moral guidance?
What is then the spiritual values? According to Kant, moral values are the only control and restrain for human behaviors and deeds; however, belief in human volition, immortality and a metaphysical superpower or creative force is the only guarantee for enforcement of those values. Moral values (golden rule) that are supported and reinforced by beliefs in human volition, immortality and a metaphysical superpower are called the spiritual values which are the basis of all religions of the world .