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:
1- 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...