A Summary of Unification Thought

Preface

Theory of the Original Image
I. The Divine Image
II. The Divine Character
III. The Structure of the Original Image
IV. Traditional Ontology and Unification Thought

Ontology
I. The Universal Image of the Individual Truth Body
II Subject and Object
III. The Individual Image of the Individual Truth Body
IV. The Connected Body
V. The Connected Body
VI. The Position of Existence
VII. The Law of the Universe

Theory of the Original Human Nature
I. A Being With Divine Image
II. A Being with Divine Character
III. A Being with Position
IV. Conclusion
V. A Unification Thought Appraisal of the Existentialist Analysis of Human Existence

Axiology: A Theory of Value
I. The Basis for Values and Various Kinds of Values
II. Determination of Actual Value and the Unification of Views of Value
III. Weaknesses In Traditional Views of Values
IV. Establishing a New View of Value
V. Historical Changes In the Systems of Value

Theory of Education
I. The Divine Principle Foundation for a Theory of Education
II. The Three Forms of Education
III. The Image of the Ideal Educated Person
IV. Traditional Theories of Education
V. An Appraisal of Traditional Theories of Education from the Standpoint of Unification Thought

Ethics
I. The Divine Principle Foundation for Ethics
II. Ethics and Morality
III. Order and Equality
IV. Appraisal of Traditional Theories of Ethics from the Viewpoint of the Unification Theory of Ethics

Theory of Art
I. The Divine Principle Foundation for the New Theory of Art
II. Art and Beauty
III. The Dual Purpose of Artistic Activity: Creation and Appreciation
IV. Requisites for Creation
V. Requisites for Appreciation
VI. Unity In Art
VII. Art and Ethics
VIII. Types of Beauty
IX. A Critique of Socialist Realism

Theory of History
I. The Basic Positions of the Unification View of History
II. The Laws of Creation
III. The Laws of Restoration
IV. Changes In History
V. Traditional Views of History
VI. A Comparative Analysis of Histories

Epistemology
I. Traditional Epistemologies
II. Unification Epistemology (Part 1)
II. Unification Epistemology (Part 2)
III. Kant's and Marx's Epistemologies from the Perspective of Unification Thought

Logic
I. Traditional Systems of Logic
II. Unification Logic
III. An Appraisal of Traditional Systems of Logic from the Perspective of Unification Thought

Methodology
I. Historical Review
II. Unification Methodology - The Give-and-Receive Method
III. An Appraisal of Conventional Methodologies from the Perspective of Unification Thought

Notes

References

IV. Axiology: A Theory of Value

The contemporary age is an age of great confusion and great losses. Wars and conflicts never cease, and innumerable vicious phenomena are covering the world, such as terrorism, destruction, arson, kidnapping, murder, drug abuse, alcoholism, declining sexual morals, the breakdown of the family, in ' justice, corruption, oppression, conspiracy, and slander. In the vortex of this great confusion, humankind's most valuable assets are now almost lost. I am referring to the loss of mutual trust among people, the deterioration of parental authority, teachers' authority, and governmental authority, the neglect of personal human dignity, the disregard of traditions, and the loss of the dignity of life.

What is the cause of such confusion and losses? The cause is the collapse of the traditional views of value. That is to say, the traditional points of view concerning trueness, goodness, and beauty have been lost. Among these, the concept of goodness especially is being weakened, and existing ethical and moral views are rapidly being lost. Then, what are the causes that have brought about the collapse of the traditional views of value?

First, God is being eliminated from every field, including economy, politics, education, and art. At the same time, religious values are being neglected. Since almost all traditional systems of values are based on religion, a view of value that loses its religious basis cannot but decline.

Second, materialism, atheism, and especially Communism are infiltrating everywhere. Communism has been working to divide people into two classes and then to foment conflicts between those classes by increasing the sense of distrust and spreading hostilities everywhere. In so doing, it has criticized and attempted to destroy the traditional views of value, claiming that traditional values are feudalistic and intended solely to maintain existing social systems.

Third, conflicts among religions and philosophies are themselves speeding up the collapse of values. Existing values have been established on the basis of the various religions and philosophies; therefore, if disagreement among religions and among philosophies exist, people will be led to regard these values as merely relative.

Fourth, traditional religious virtues have lost their power to persuade modern people, who tend to think scientifically. When the teachings of traditional religions either contradict science or are unrelated to science, they become unacceptable to modern people, who tend to place absolute confidence in science.

When we see this collapse of traditional values, we realize that there is a need for a new view of value. This new view of value, first of all, must be able to embrace the fundamental teachings of all religions and thought systems. It must also be able to overcome materialism and atheism. Furthermore, it must be able to embrace and even guide science. This would be a view of value that is centered on the absolute God. Unification axiology seeks to present such a view of value.

This new view of value is presented for the sake of establishing our future society. The future society is a society that will be built by people of original nature, whose intellect, emotion, and will are centered on Heart. Accordingly, the future society will be a society where the activities of people's intellect, emotion, and will are carried out in it harmonious way, centering on heart. Here, new values refer to the values corresponding to the original faculties of intellect, emotion, and will.

The faculties of intellect, emotion, and will seek the values of trueness, goodness and beauty, respectively, and through these, a society of trueness, an artistic society, and an ethical society will be actualized. In doing so, what is required for the realization of a society of trueness is a theory of education for the pursuit of die value of "trueness"; what is required to pursue a society of "beauty," or an artistic society, is a theory of art for the pursuit of the value of "beauty"; what is required for the realization of a society of "goodness," or an ethical society, is a theory of ethics for the pursuit of the value of "goodness." Since axiology is a theory that deals generally with the values of trueness, goodness, and beauty, axiology is the general theory serving as a basis for these three particular theories.

The future society will thus be a society where the values of trueness, goodness, and beauty will be realized; in that society, the economy will attain a high level of development through the progress of science, solving, once and for all and completely, all the economic problems of society. People's lives will be focused primarily oil realizing values. The society where the values of' trueness, goodness, and beauty, centered on heart, are realized is a society with the culture of heart, or a society of unified culture.
>> Go to top

I. The Basis for Values and Various Kinds of Values

To begin our study of this new view of value, let us consider, first, what values are; next, tile basis upon which the various values come to exist; and finally, the different kinds of value.

A. What Are Values?

Broadly speaking, values can be categorized as either material values or spiritual values. Material values refer to the values of people's daily necessities, such as commodities; in contrast, spiritual values refer to values corresponding to the faculties of intellect, emotion, and will, or the values of trueness, goodness, and beauty. Of these two kinds, Unification Axiology deals primarily with spiritual values.

Value refers to a quality of an object that satisfies a desire of tile subject. That is, when an object has a certain quality that satisfies a desire or a wish of the subject and which is recognized as such by the subject, then that special quality of the object is called value. In other words, value is something that belongs to an object; yet, unless it is recognized as value by the subject, it does not become actual. For example, even though there may be a flower here, unless someone (the subject) perceives the beauty of that flower, the value of the flower does not become actual. In this way, in order for value to become actual, a subject must recognize the quality of the object and must appraise that quality as valuable.

B. The Duality of Desire, Purpose, and Value

In order to discuss values, we need to analyze the desire of the subject. Philosophical attempts to deal with questions of value (including material value), have generally focused on objective phenomena alone, excluding consideration of human desire. They have, therefore, tended to be weak, like a tree without roots or a building without foundation. A tree without roots cannot but wither; a building without foundation cannot but collapse. Accordingly, existing thought systems are showing their powerlessness today in solving various social problems. For example, economic theories, which deal with material values, have become not very useful in solving the phenomena of the current economic disorder. Many difficult problems, unexpected even by economists, are also emerging one after another, such as the impact that labor-management relations have on business results. Why is that so? The reason is that they have not correctly analyzed the human desire itself Though every economist knows the fact that the motivation of economic activity is human desire, they have not engaged in any serious analysis of desire; so their theories have become like buildings without a foundation. Thus, we begin by analyzing desire in order to understand such phenomena correctly.

Since people are beings of united Sungsang and Hyungsang in other words, beings with a dual mind (spiritual mind and physical mind) human desires, likewise, are of two kinds, namely, Sungsang desire and Hyungsang desire. Sungsang desire is the desire of the spirit mind, that is, the desire for trueness, goodness, beauty, and love, whereas the Hyungsang desire is the desire of the physical mind, that is, the desire for food, clothing, shelter, and sex.

Then, for what purpose do human desires exist? They exist for realizing the Purpose of Creation. God's purpose of creation is to have joy through loving His object. Conversely, the purpose of creation, especially for human beings, is to return beauty to God and to give joy to God. The purpose for which human beings were created can be fulfilled through the realizations of the three Great Blessings, namely, to be fruitful, to multiply, and to have dominion over all things (Gen. 1:28). Therefore, the purpose of creation for human beings is none other than the completion of the Three Great Blessings.

If, at the time of creation, God had given human beings purpose but riot desire, then the most they would have been able to do was to come tip with the thought, "There is a Purpose of Creation," or "The Three Great Blessings exist." Yet the Purpose of Creation, of the Three Great Blessings, would never have been realized. Therefore, God had to give people the impulsive willingness to actualize that purpose, the impulse of the mind to do or obtain something. Desire is that impulse. Accordingly, people gradually grow to maturity driven by an innate impulse to achieve the purpose of creation, namely, the Three Great Blessings.

Human desires include Sungsang desire and Hyungsang desire. In purpose as well, and in correspondence to desires, there are a Sungsang purpose and a Hyungsang purpose. The Sungsang purpose refers to the Sungsang aspect of the Purpose of Creation; and the Hyungsang purpose refers to the Hyungsang aspect of the Purpose of Creation.

A human being is also a connected body with a dual purpose, namely, the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual. Accordingly, the Sungsang purpose and the Hyungsang purpose aim to attain the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual, respectively. Thus, the Purpose of Creation is fulfilled through the accomplishment of the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual. The purpose for the whole is to serve the family, the society, the people, the nation, the world, and ultimately God, the Parent of humankind; thus it is to give joy to humankind and to God. On the other hand, the purpose for the individual is to live for one's own growth and to seek one's own joy. Not only people, but also all things, have a purpose for the whole and a purpose for the individual.

The way in which things accomplish the purpose of creation is different from the way people accomplish their purpose. Inorganic substances fulfill their purpose of creation by following natural law; plants, by following the autonomy of the Principle (life) I within them; and animals, by following their instinct. People, however, must accomplish their purpose of creation by following the desire given to them by God, using their own free will and according to their own responsibility. Desire is the impulse of the mind to attain a certain purpose. The desire to attain the purpose for the whole is called the desire to realize value, and the desire to attain the purpose for the individual is called the desire to seek value. Accordingly, the Sungsang desire and the Hyungsang desire each have the desire to realize value and the desire to seek value.

The Sungsang desire and the Hyungsang desire are called "dual desire"; the desire to realize value and the desire to seek value are referred to as the dual desire corresponding to the whole and the individual. With regard to purpose, the Sungsang purpose and the Hyungsang purpose are called "dual purpose"; the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual are referred to as the dual purpose corresponding to the whole and the individual. With regard to value (to be explained in detail later), there are Sungsang value and Hyungsang value, which are called "dual value." Realized value and sought-after value are referred to as the dual value corresponding to the whole and the individual. An arrangement of the duality of desires, purposes, and values in relation to one another will give us Fig. 4-1.

Fig. 4-1: The Duality of Desire, Purpose, and Value

C. Kinds of Value

Value is the quality in the object that satisfies the desire of the subject. Desires can be divided into Sungsang desire and Hyungsang desire; as a consequence, there are also Sungsang value and Hyungsang value (Fig. 4-1). Sungsang value is a spiritual value that satisfies 2 the Sungsang desire; it consists of trueness, goodness, beauty, and love. 3 (To be precise, love is the basis for the values of trueness, goodness, and beauty.) Trueness, beauty, and goodness are the values corresponding to the three faculties of the mind, namely, intellect, emotion and will. That is to say, when the subject appraises an element of the object as a value, the subject appraises it as trueness, beauty, or goodness, according to the faculties of intellect, emotion, or will, respectively.

On the other hand, Hyungsang value, which satisfies the Hyungsang desire, refers to the value of daily necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter-namely, material value (commodity value).4 Material value is the value necessary for physical life, or the value that satisfies the desire of the physical mind. Physical life is the basis for tile growth of the spirit person and for the fulfillment of the Three Great Blessings. Thus the Hyungsang value is a requisite for the realization of Sungsang value.

Love is the basis of the values of trueness, goodness and beauty. The more the subject loves the object, and the more the object loves the subject, the truer, the better, and more beautiful the object comes to appear to the subject. For example, the more parents love their children and the more children love their parents, the more beautiful the children will look. And when children look more beautiful, the parents will feel like loving them even more. In that way, love is the source and foundation of value. Without love, true value will not appear. Accordingly, if we experience the love of God and lead a life of love, we will be able to experience and actualize more brilliant value than we have ever experienced before.

In this way, value includes both Sungsang value and Hyungsang value. Axiology, however, is a philosophical field that deals primarily with Sungsang value.
>> Go to top

II. Determination of Actual Value and the Unification of Views of Value

A. The Essence of Value

Value is actualized through the give-and-receive action between subject and object. 'File essence of value, which is appraised by tile subject, lies in the object. As a result, there are two aspects in value: as the aspect of the essence of value, which is possessed by the object, and the aspect of the actualization of value, which takes place between tile subject and tile object. The former is called "potential value," and the latter, "actual value."

The essence of value, or potential value, consists of the purpose of creation of tile object and the harmony between paired elements existing in the object. First, every created being has a purpose for which it was created, namely, its purpose of creation. For example, a flower has the purpose to give joy to people through its beauty. Not only in the beings created by God, but also in things produced by people (e.g., art works, commodities) there is always a purpose for which they were created. Next, the harmony between paired elements refers to the harmony between the subject element and object element existing in the object, such as Sungsang and Hyungsang, Yang and Yin, and principal element and subordinate element. In this way, the paired elements are harmonized centering on tile purpose of creation. That is what constitutes the essence of value, or potential value.

B. Determination of Actual Value in Correlative Relationship

Value is determined, or appraised, through give-and-receive action between the subject and object. The conditions that the object must have, or the "object requisites," are its purpose of creation and harmony between its paired elements, as mentioned above. On the other hand, there are also conditions that the subject must meet in order for value to be determined, that is, the "subject requisites." First, the subject must have a desire to seek value; next, the subject must have concern for, or interest in, the object. In addition, the subject's philosophy, taste, individuality, education, view of life, outlook on history, world view, and so on, are conditions that influence tile determination of value. These are the Sungsang requisites that the subject necessarily has. There are also Hyungsang requisites for the subject, which are the abilities of a healthy physical body.

When the subject requisites and the object requisites are established, give-and-receive action can take place between subject and object, whereby value is determined. Determining value means determining the quantity and quality of value. The quantity of value refers to the quantitative appraisal of value, such as "very beautiful," or "not so beautiful." There are also qualitative differences in value. For example, in beauty there are various nuances, such as graceful beauty, awesome beauty, solemn beauty, and comic beauty (see tile chapter on the theory of art). These are qualitative differences of value.

When the moon is observed by different people, for instance, it sometimes appears sad to one person but happy to ;mother. Even when the same person looks at the moon, if the person is sad, the moon may look sad, but if that person is happy, the moon may look happy. Differences in beauty arise depending on tile mood of the subject. This can be said not only about beauty, but also about goodness and trueness; the same applies to the value of commodities. Thus, quantitative and qualitative differences in value arise because the subject's subjectivity is reflected on the object. In other words, tile subject conditions can influence the determination of value, and this is called "subjective action." There are many passages in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's speeches referring to subjective action in the determination of value. For example, while speaking about Heart, he said,

Suppose the Son of God gave you a handkerchief. That handkerchief would be worth more than gold, more than life, more than anything else in the world. If you are a real Son of God, whatever humble place you may lay yourself, it is a palace. Then our clothing is no problem, and the place we sleep is no problem, because we are already rich. We are the princes of God. 5

In Buddhism, there is a saying, "The three realms are only manifestations of the mind." This means that all the phenomena of the three realms, (Le, the entire world), are manifestations of the mind. 6 In that viewpoint, the appraisal of the value of an object is a totally subjective matter. However, too much emphasis is placed on subjective action.

C The Standard for Determining Value

1. The Correlative Standard

The determination, or appraisal, of value, as mentioned earlier, differs according to the individual subject. Yet, when there are many commonalities in the subject conditions, there will also be many points of agreement in the appraisal of value. Among people who believe in the same religion or philosophy, the way they feel about values will be almost the same. For example, among Confucianists, filial piety toward parents is universally held as good.

Accordingly, among people who have the same religion or philosophy, the unification of values is quite possible. For example, during the period of the Pax Romana, the Stoic spirit of self-control and cosmopolitanism were commonly accepted values. During the Tang period in China, Buddhism was the unifying view of value. The same was true during the period of the Unified Silla dynasty in Korea. In the United States, Christianity, especially Protestantism, has been its unifying view of value. Thus, in those regions where people have the same religion or philosophy, their views of value become very similar.

Differences in the views of value do arise, however, among different religions, different cultures, and different philosophies. For example, in Hinduism, eating beef is not allowed, whereas in Islam, eating beef is allowed, but eating pork is not. In another example, when Communists talk about peace, they mean something quite different from what that term means in the free world. In this way, when standards for value judgment apply only to a limited sphere, we call them "relative standards."

2. The Absolute Standard

Humankind's values cannot be unified through such relative standards, nor will the conflicts and struggles resulting in differences in values come to an end if we base ourselves on relative standards alone. In order to unify the values of humankind, a standard for value judgment must be established that will be common to all people, transcending differences in culture, thought, nationality, and so on. That is the absolute standard.

But is it possible to establish an absolute standard? In order to show that it is possible, we must prove that the causal being of the universe, who gave rise to all religions, cultures, thought systems, and all human beings, is one, and absolute being. Further, we must discover the commonalities originating from the causal being.

Indeed, as explained in greater detail in "Ontology," common attributes can be found in all things. The things in the universe exist in innumerable ways, but they move in a specific order, and there are commonalities among them. The reason is that all things in the universe were created in resemblance of the causal being, or God. Likewise, though there are many religions, cultures, philosophies, and peoples-all of them different from one another-if there is one causal being that gave rise to all of them, then there must be commonalities among them originating from that causal being, or fundamental being.

Numerous religions have emerged throughout history, but they were not arbitrarily established by their founders. In order to save all of humankind, God established specific founders in specific regions and in specific periods of time, seeking to save the people of each region and in each period. The reason is that God has been carrying on the dispensation of salvation for peoples of different languages, different customs, and different environments, and He has been doing that in a way that is most suitable For each case.

Thus, in order to discover the commonalities of different religions, it is necessary to prove that the causal being, who established all religions, is one and the same being. The causal being of all things in the universe is called God in Christianity, Jehovah in Judaism, Allah in Islam, Brahman in Hinduism, Tathata in Buddhism, and Heaven in Confucianism. Yet, die attributes of the causal being, or fundamental being, have not been clearly stated in any of these religions. For example, in Confucianism, the concrete nature of Heaven is not sufficiently explained, and no sufficient explanation is given about Tathala in Buddhism or about Brahman in Hinduism. In addition, the reason why God (in Christianity) or Allah (in Islam) has created humankind and the universe is not explained; nor is it explained why the Creator does not instantly save the world from its misery. Accordingly, the causal being, as understood in the various religions, is vague, as if hidden by a veil. Furthermore, since each religion grasps only some aspect of the causal being, the causal being appears to be different in different religions.

In order to prove that the causal being of these different religions, after all, is one and the same being, we need to understand correctly the attributes of God, the purpose of creation, the laws (or Logos) of the creation of the universe, and so on. If we acquire such an understanding, we will come to realize that all religions are brothers and sisters originating from one and the same God. We will also put an end to the long-lasting conflicts and struggles among religions, and will come to reconcile with one another and love one another. Thus, we find that the correct knowledge of the nature of God is the key to the solution of actual problems. The same thing can be said about cultures, philosophies, and peoples. If we understand that the fundamental being that gave rise to all cultures, philosophies, and peoples is one and the same being, then commonalities can also be identified.

Then, what are the commonalities that can become the absolute standard in the appraisal of values? They are God's love (absolute love) and God's truth (absolute truth).7 God created humankind in order to obtain joy through love, and God's love is common to agape in Christianity, mercy in Buddhism, jen in Confucianism, compassion in Islam, and so on. God's love is manifested among human beings in the form of the triple-object love, namely parental love, conjugal love, and children's love.

The practice of love for one's neighbor in Christianity, the practice of mercy in Buddhism, the practice of jen (benevolence) in Confucianism, the practice of compassion in Islam, and so on, all have in common the actualization of this triple-object love.

The truth (law) through which God created the universe and which governs the movement of the universe, is also eternal and universal. The fundamental law of the universe is that beings exist, not for their own sake, but for the sake of others and for the sake of God. That is to say, they are "for-others" beings. Accordingly, the universal standard of good and evil is whether one lives for other people (humankind) or lives for oneself in a self-centered way. 8

In this way, the absolute standard for the appraisal of values comes to be established. But what about a person's individuality? The existence of commonality in determining value does not exclude individuality, which should be preserved as it is. People are beings with dual purpose: the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual. Also, they are individual truth bodies with a universal image and an individual image. Therefore, they pursue the purpose for the individual while giving priority to the purpose for the whole, and express individuality while maintaining the universal image.

Therefore, the appraisal of value, though based on the absolute standard, cannot be immune from one's individuality, that is, from subjective action. Nevertheless, individual differences must still be base(] on commonality. As long as there is a common base there can be no confusion in tile view of values. Yet, in fallen society there is little commonality, whereas the differences are quite apparent. Because of the absence of a common ground, confusion of values has risen.

Here, the establishment of a new view of value and the unification of existing systems of value become possible. This new view of value is based on God's absolute love and absolute truth, which is the absolute value.( With this absolute value, all value systems can be harmonized. This is none other than the unification of system of value.
>> Go to top

III. Weaknesses In Traditional Views of Values

One of the causes of the collapse of values today is that traditional systems of value-primarily religious systems of value-have lost their persuasive power, or ability to persuade people. In this section, I will explain how the traditional views of value of the four major religions and of humanitarianism have lost their persuasive power. This will be done through an analysis of the weaknesses in those views.

A. Weaknesses in the Christian View of Value

Christianity contains excellent virtues, as expressed in the following biblical passages:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Malt. 22:39).
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:44).
Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them ("The Golden Rule," Matt 7:12).
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. ch. 5).
So, faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (I Cor. 13:13).
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).

Although in Christianity there are many other virtues, yet it is stated that "love builds up" (I Cor. 8: 1), which means that the basis for all those virtues is love. It is also stated that "Love is of God, ... God is love" (I John 4:7-8), which means that the basis of love is God. Yet, in the modern period, the existence of God came to be denied by Nietzsche, Feuerbach, Marx, Russell, Sartre, and many others. Against such God-denying thoughts, Christianity has been unable to counterattack effectively. That is to say, in the confrontation between theism and atheism, Christianity has been defeated. As a result, a great number of people have become slaves of atheism.

Furthermore, a challenge has been issued by Communism against the Christian view of value. Communists deny the concepts of absolute love and love for humankind, as asserted in Christianity, and insist that real love is class-centered love, or love for one's comrades. In a society where there are conflicts of interest, there can be no love beyond one's social class. One simply has to choose to stand either on the side of the proletariat or on the side of the bourgeoisie. Ultimately, love for humankind is an empty word that cannot be put into actual practice, they say. If one hears such assertions, certainly the class-centered love sounds more actual, and tile Christian love sounds merely conceptual. Especially for those who are unable to be convinced of the existence of God, Christian love does not seem to be so convincing.

Also, today Liberation Theology and Dependency Theory have emerged in the Third World. According to Liberation Theology, Jesus was a revolutionary who came to save the oppressed and the poor of his age. Therefore, Liberation Theology preaches that those who are true Christians must fight for social revolution. Thus, sympathy for the cause of the poor agrees well with the Communist class-centered love, and eventually this kind of sympathy becomes aligned with Communism in working to solve actual problems. 10 According to Dependency Theory, poverty in the Third World comes from structural contradictions between advanced countries and the Third World, and is unavoidable. In order for the Third World to be liberated from poverty, the Third World must confront the advanced nations, this theory asserts. Dependency Theory aligns itself with Communism in much the same way as Liberation Theology does. 11

Neither Liberation Theology nor Dependency Theory possesses a firm philosophy, a firm theory of history, or a firm economic theory when compared with Communism. Therefore, eventually they cannot but be absorbed by Communism. Yet, Christianity seems unable to take an effective course of action to resolve that situation.

B. Weaknesses in the Confucian View of Value

Stated in summary form, Confucianism consists of the five moral rules governing the five human relationships, the four virtues, the four beginnings, the eight articles, and loyalty and filial piety. Each of these will be discussed briefly.

1. The Five Moral Rules Governing the Five Human Relationships

The five moral rules, since ancient times, have been described as follows: "Affection should mark the relations between father and son; justice and righteousness should mark the relations between sovereign and subject; distinction should mark the relations between husband and wife; order should mark the relations between elder and younger brothers; trust should mark the relations among friends." These have been regarded as the basis for human relationships, and were especially emphasized by Mencius.

2. The Four Virtues

Mencius preached four virtues, namely, benevolence (jen),12 righteousness, propriety, and knowledge. Later, Tung Chung-shu, of the Han dynasty, added "faith," establishing the Way of the Five Cardinal Virtues Jen, righteousness, propriety, knowledge, and faith).

3. The Four Beginnings

According to Mencius, the feeling of commiseration, the feeling of shame and dislike, the feeling of modesty and complaisance, and the feeling of approving and disapproving are the Four Beginnings. Each of these was taught to be the beginning of one of the Four Virtues-jen, righteousness, propriety, and knowledge, respectively.

4. The Eight Articles

In order to govern the world peacefully, an official must do the following: (a) investigate many things; (b) extend his knowledge; (c) be guided by sincere thoughts; (d) rectify his heart; (e) cultivate his personality; (f) regulate his own family; (g) govern the state well; and (h) bring peace to the world. 13

5. Loyalty and Filial Piety

Loyalty and filial piety are the virtues with which one serves one's superiors and one's parents.

Although in Confucianism, there are many other virtues, the basis for all those virtues is jen (benevolence), and the basis for jen is Heaven. 14 However, Confucianism does not clearly explain what Heaven is.

Communists have criticized Confucianism by applying the Communist theory of "basis and superstructure," saying that the Confucian teaching is nothing but a means of rationalizing the existing rule. They argue that Confucian values were coined by the ruling class during the feudal period in order to make the people follow obediently and that, therefore, Confucian teachings are not appropriate for a modern, democratic society, which follows the principles of equal rights and majority rule. Consequently, Confucian virtues are all but neglected today. Thus, the Confucian view of value is collapsing, and as a result, disorder and confusion have invaded families and society.

C. Weaknesses in the Buddhist View of Value

The fundamental virtue of Buddhism is mercy, and in order to practice mercy (ntaitri), a life of training is required. Through a life of training, one reaches Sfavaka (one who is awakened by hearing the teachings), Natyekabuddha (one who awakens by oneself through some event), Bodhisattva (the one striving for enlightenment) and finally Buddhahood (the enlightened one, or the one with perfect personality). Mercy becomes possible in the levels of Bodhisattva and Buddhahood. On the levels of Siavaka and Iralyekalruddha, one is not yet ready to practice mercy.

People are not aware of the fact that all things in the world change, or are transitory; accordingly, people are attached to their present life, and that is the cause of their suffering. In order to end suffering, one must get rid of such attachments through a life of training. Deliverance from attachments and liberation from suffering are what is understood by "salvation" (vbitukli) in Buddhism. Through salvation, one enters the state of selflessness and comes to practice true mercy, according to Buddhism.

The fundamental thought of Buddha has been systematized in the teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths consist of (a) the Truth of Suffering, (b) the Truth of the Cause of Suffering, (c) the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering, (d) and the Truth of the Noble Path to the Cessation of the Cause of Suffering. Each of these is explained briefly.

(a) The Truth of Suffering shows that human life is suffering.
(b) The Truth of the Cause of Suffering teaches that the cause of suffering is attachment.
(c) The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering is that in order to get rid of suffering, one must give up attachment.
(d) The Truth of the Noble Path to the Cessation of the Cause of Suffering is that, in order to make one's suffering disappear, one must be trained according to the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Noble Eightfold Path is as follows:

1. Right View
2. Right Thought
3. Right Speech
4. Right Behavior
5. Right livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

The system of twelve items has been established through inquiry into the cause of die emergence of human pain. That is the teaching of the twelve causations. According to this teaching, the root cause of human suffering is desire or greed, and more deeply than that, there is ignorance of Tathafa (the source of die universe), or the state of not realizing that pain and suffering are not essential. From this ignorance, all kinds of suffering arise.

In Mahayana Buddhism, the perfection of the following six practices (fa-randl-a) is necessary for one to become a Bodhisattva:

1. Offering
2. Keeping precepts
3. Endurance
4. Endeavor
5. Concentration of mind
6. Wisdom

The root of the above virtues of Buddhism is mercy, and the basis for mercy is Tathai-a, which is the source of the universe-15 But today the Buddhist view of values has lost its ability to persuade people.

This is because the Buddhist doctrine has the following problems:

a) The exact nature of Talhafa, the source of the universe, is not explained.
b) The way the dharinas (all phenomena) have come into being is unclear.
c) A fundamental explanation of how ignorance came about is not given.
d) The fundamental solution of actual problems (of human life, society, and history) is impossible merely through training.

Moreover, Communism has posed a challenge to Buddhism. The Communist attack can be summarized as follows: "Actual society is filled with exploitation, oppression, gaps between the rich and the poor, and other social ills. The cause of these vices lies not as much in ignorance as in the contradictions within the system of capitalist society itself. Buddhist training is for the salvation of the individual, but isn't that just a way of escaping from reality, a way of avoiding the real solution to the problems? Engaging in training without solving actual problems is nothing but hypocrisy." Thus attacked, Buddhists have been unable to counter with an appropriate refutation.

D. Weaknesses in the Islamic View of Value

Islam regards Muhammad as the greatest of all prophets and the Qur'an as the most complete of all scriptures, but it also believes in Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, and regards the five books of Moses, David's Psalms, and the Gospels of Jesus, as its scriptures. Therefore, Islamic virtues have many points in common with Judeo-Christian virtues. 16

The Islamic teachings of faith and practice are summarized in the Six Articles of Faith and the Five Obligatory Practices. The Six Articles of Faith are that one must believe in God, in angels, in the scriptures, in the prophets, in the coming Day of judgment, and must believe that human destiny is in the hands of Allah. The Five Obligatory Practices are pronouncing the Word of Witness, praying, fasting, almsgiving, and going on pilgrimage.

The object of faith is Allah, who is absolute, the only one, the Creator, and the Ruler. On the question of who Allah is, Islamic theologians mention 99 attributes, among which "compassionate" and "merciful" are the most fundamental. 17 Therefore, we can say that the most fundamental virtue of' all Islamic virtues is compassion, or mercy.

In this way, the Islamic view of values originally had many points in common with the systems of values of other religions, and was in harmony with them. In reality, however, there have been many cases of serious conflicts, including wars, among Islamic sects, and between Islam and other religions. By taking advantage of such conflicts, Communism has been challenging Islam. The Communist attack could be summarized as Follows: "There can be no love for humankind, as Islam advocates. The struggles among Islamic sects prove our assertion. In a class society, there can be only class centered love." Thus, by taking advantage of all those conflicts, Communists have attempted to make Islamic countries Communistic, or at least pro-Communistic.

Above all, the conflict between Islam and Judeo-Christianity is particularly serious. This is a problem to be solved by going back to the origin of the hostile feelings between the two sides. Since Allah is a merciful God, why doesn't He just do away with that conflict? In order to resolve this issue, answers must be found to some fundamental questions, such as, What was God's purpose in creating humankind and the universe? What is the essence of all the struggles among people in human history? And how has God been working to save fallen people throughout history?

E. Weaknesses in the Humanitarian View of Value

The term humanitarianism is often used in the same meaning as humanism. Yet, in a strict sense, it is clearly different from humanism. Humanism is a thought that aims to achieve the liberation of humankind by fostering the independence of the human personality. On the other hand, humanitarianism has strong ethical overtones, advocating respect for people, philanthropy, universal brotherhood, and so on. Unlike animals, human beings have humanness; therefore, all people should be respected. This kind of vague idea is humanitarianism. Yet, it does not clearly explain what a human being is.

Humanitarianism is naturally vulnerable to attacks from Communism. Let us suppose there is a humanitarian business leader. A Communist might approach that person with the following reasoning: "You are exploiting your workers without knowing it. Why don't we build a society where all people live in affluence?" Also, suppose there is a humanitarian young person who believes that acquiring knowledge is the most important thing in the world. A Communist might say to that person, "What are you studying for? You should not be always thinking of your own success. That will, after all, serve only the bourgeoisie. Don't you think we should live for the sake of the people?" Thus confronted, a conscientious humanitarian would be unable to refute it, and would come to consider that Communism has good reasons to support it. Accordingly, those with a humanitarian view of value have been unable to deal with attack from Communists.

Through the examples above, it is clear that traditional systems of values have lost their ability to persuade people. Thus, the establishment of a new view of values is urgently needed.
>> Go to top

IV. Establishing a New View of Value

A. Establishing the Absolute View of Value

Today, as values collapse, it is most important to establish a new view of value. It would be impossible, however, to prevent the phenomenon of the collapse of values by means of relative views of value. Therefore, an absolute view of value must be established. This absolute view of value must be established oil the basis of' tile clarification of what kind of attributes the absolute God possesses, and for what purpose (Purpose of Creation) and with which laws (Logos) God created human beings and the universe.

God created human beings as objects of His love, seeking to obtain joy through loving them. In order to please human beings, God created all things as objects of their love. Absolute values refer to the values of trueness, goodness, and beauty based on God's love (absolute love), that is, absolute trueness, absolute goodness, and absolute beauty. The essential point of the new view of value is that true values come into being on the basis of absolute love.

The unification of systems of value is the unification of the standards for the judgment of value (especially the value of goodness), making it clear that all virtues are diverse expressions of the absolute values, and that ultimately, all virtues exist in order to actualize absolute love.

Clearly, then, it would be wrong to think of the new view of value as an entirely new system, to be established at the cost of denying the traditional views of value from Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam, and so on. Rather, the new view of value is established on the basis of traditional values. Since the bases upon which traditional values stand have collapsed, we need to rebuild those bases and to revive and strengthen traditional values. Next, in order to ensure the absoluteness of the new view of value, I will present a theological ground, a philosophical ground, and historical ground for it.

B. The Theological Ground for Absolute Value

The theological ground refers to the question of whether or not the Absolute Being in the universe, referred to as "God" in Christianity, "Heaven" in Confucianism, Tathal-a in Buddhism, "Allah" in Islam, and so on, truly exists.

In order to present this theological ground, the unsolved questions in traditional religions, such as why the absolute being (or God) created humankind and the universe, have to be clarified. As already explained in the Theory of the Original Image, the reason why God created humankind and the universe is that God is a being of Heart. Heart is the "emotional impulse to seek joy through love." Because of this impulse, God created human beings as His objects of love, and the universe as the environment in which humans could live. Thus, with God as the God of Heart, the reason for God's creation can be explained reasonably. This becomes an important basis for affirming the existence of God.

God's desire was for us to grow as the image of God. This is because, when that happened, then God's joy could be realized to the highest degree. For this reason, God gave us the Three Great Blessings-which meant that God directed man and woman to perfect their character, to perfect their family, and to perfect their qualifications for dominion over all things. Thus, God's Purpose of Creation would be attained through our realizing the Three Great Blessings. Seen from this point of view, we come to understand that the virtues of different religions can agree with one another in the point of accomplishing the Three Great Blessings as the way of realizing God's Purpose of Creation.

C. The Philosophical Ground for Absolute Value

The value systems of Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Islam emerged in the period from the Sixth Century B. C.. to the Seventh Century A. D. In that period of history, people had to accept the rule of authority unconditionally. Accordingly, in the societies of those days, people would unconditionally accept the teachings of Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, or Muhammad. In modern times, however, it is difficult to convey such values to people, because people now have a more rational, analytical, and logical way of thinking. Hence, it is necessary to modernize those value systems by providing them with rational explanations.

It was customary in ancient Greece and in the Orient to study nature and thereby to determine a view of value or a view of life. In China, Chu Lsi, especially, asserted the correspondence between natural law and ethical law, and said that laws of nature apply to tile ethical laws of human society. In modern times, Marxism takes such a position, although it has a mistaken concept of natural law. Marxism claims that society develops according to natural law (i.e., the dialectic).

Therefore, in establishing a new view of value, it is necessary for us also to observe nature and the universe, discuss the fundamental laws at work there, and thereby derive a view of value. That is, we will clarify that the law penetrating tile universe, namely, tile Way of Heaven, is the standard for ethics and morality. This is what is meant by the philosophical ground for absolute values.

Here arise such questions as whether or not natural law and ethical law correspond to each other, and whether or not natural law can be applied directly to ethical law. From the viewpoint of Unification Thought, all beings are equipped with the dual aspects of Sungsang and Hyungsang. Therefore, we come to the conclusion that ethical law, which is a Sungsang law, and natural law, which is a Hyungsang law, are in a relationship of correspondence.

The important point here is to obtain a correct understanding of nature. As mentioned in Ontology, Marxism started out from an incorrect understanding of nature and then concluded, incorrectly, that nature develops through the struggle between opposites. As a result, the way of life derived from that interpretation of nature became an incorrect way of life as well.

Seen from the viewpoint of Unification Thought, the fundamental law at work in the universe is not the dialectic, but rather tile law of give-and-receive action, which, as stated in Ontology, has the following characteristics:

(1) correlativity,
(2) purposiveness and centrality,
(3) order and position,
(4) harmony,
(5) individuality and connectedness,
(6) identity-maintaining nature and developmental nature, and
(7) circular motion. Thus, I will discuss views of value on the basis of these characteristics of the law of the universe.

The universe has both a vertical order and a horizontal order. The Moon revolves around the Earth, the Earth revolves around the Sun, the solar system revolves around the nucleus of the galaxy; and the galaxy revolves around the center of' the universe. This is the vertical order of the universe. On the other hand, centering on the Sun, the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto all revolve in specified orbits. This is the horizontal order of the universe. The planets are harmoniously ordered, and there is no contradiction or conflict among them. From the perspective of the system of order, a family is a miniature of the universe. Therefore, in a family as well, there is a system of order corresponding to the system of order of the universe, and at the same time there are values that come to be established on the basis of' that system of order.

Corresponding to the vertical order of the universe, a system of vertical value comes to be established in the family. The parents show benevolence to the children, and the children practice filial piety toward the parents. This is the system of vertical value on the family level. When this system is applied to society and the nation, various kinds of values can be derived. Clemency and good governance by the ruler toward the people, and loyalty of the people toward the ruler; the teachers' duty to their students, and the respect and obedience of the students toward their teachers; protection of the junior by the senior, and respect of the junior for the senior; the authority of superiors over the subordinates and the obedience of subordinates to superiors; and so on. All these are vertical values on various levels.

Corresponding to the horizontal order of the universe, a system of horizontal value comes to be established in the family. There is harmonious love between husband and wife, and brotherly love among brothers arid sisters. These, in turn, will develop as views of value toward colleagues, neighbors, compatriots, society, humankind, and so on. These bring forth the values of reconciliation, tolerance, justice, fidelity, courtesy, modesty, mercy, cooperation, service, sympathy, and so on.

If such vertical and horizontal values are maintained in society, then society remains peaceful and develops in a wholesome way. If not, society falls into disorder. These values are not relics from feudal society; rather, they are values that humankind should observe eternally, for the law of the universe is eternal, and the law of human society corresponds to the law of the universe.

Furthermore, the law of' tire universe has individuality, corresponding to which there are individual values as well. All individual beings in the universe participate in the universal order while maintaining their own unique characteristics. In human society as well, each person engages in mutual relationships with other people while building up his or her own character. Individual values include purity, honesty, righteousness, abstinence, courage, wisdom, self-control, endurance, independence, self-help, autonomy, fairness, diligence, innocence, and so on. All of these are values for self-cultivation as an individual.

Such vertical, horizontal, and individual values are not especially new as virtues. They have been taught by Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others. Without a philosophical ground to clarify them, however, these values are ambiguous. That is why today such values no longer have any power to persuade people. For that reason, we seek to revive traditional values by providing them with a firm philosophical ground.

D. The Historical Ground for Absolute Value

Whether or not the values explained above can be demonstrated historically becomes an issue as well. Communism asserts not only that natural phenomena develop through struggle but also that human history has been developing through struggle (i.e., class struggle). As explained in the chapter "Theory of History," however, it is not true that history has been developing through struggle, for development can be attained only through harmonious give-and-receive action between subject and object (i.e., leaders and people in society). Struggles have indeed occurred in history, but they cannot be classified as class struggles. To be precise, they were struggles between the forces of relative good and the forces of relative evil. It can also be said that they were conflicts between different systems of value. In other words, they were struggles between, on one side, a party with a purpose that was more in accord with the Way of Heaven (the side of relative goodness) and, on the other side, a party with a purpose that was more in discord with the Way of Heaven (the side of relative evil). There were some cases in which the relatively good side was defeated for some time by the relatively evil side, but in the long run, the relatively good side will always win. As Mencius said, those who have followed Heaven have survived, and those who have not have perished.

Struggles between good and evil were not for the purpose of developing history, but rather for the purpose of turning history toward a better direction (see ch. 8, "Theory of History"). This can be substantiated by an analysis of history. Secular powers have risen and fallen, but religions, which strive to follow Heaven, have managed to survive. Also, the teachings and achievements of saints and righteous men and women have served as models for people in later periods, even though many of those saints and righteous people fell victim to evil forces in their own time. This shows that the Way of Heaven has been working in history and that the Way of Heaven is absolute, and can not be rejected, with impunity, by people in position of power.

Another law of history is that there was a goal already, at the starting point of history. The universe was created according to an ideal (Logos), centering on purpose (the Purpose of Creation). In living beings, there is an idea already inherent within a seed or an egg (imprinted in the genetic structure), and the seed or egg grows according to that idea. Likewise, in human history, there was an ideal at the outset, and history has been developing toward that ideal. That is to say, at the starting point of history, there was a goal to which history was to develop. That was the ideal of a nation, the founding ideal of a country, recorded in mythology or in other forms, and the ideal of humankind, recorded in holy scriptures of' religions.

Human history became sinful as a result of the fall of the first ancestors. Nevertheless, God, by making use of symbols and figures in mythology and in scriptures, has presented the image of the ideal world as envisioned in the original ideal of creation, the ideal world that was lost and should be restored in human history. The ideal pursued by humankind is the world of goodness, peace and happiness. It is the world that exists according with the Way of Heaven. Therefore, the future world that history aims to attain can be expressed as the world according with the Way of Heaven, and the world where the true view of value is firmly established.
>> Go to top

V. Historical Changes In the Systems of Value

In this section, let us consider the changes in Western systems of value from a historical perspective. Through this we can grasp the historical process through which the views of value of Greek philosophy and Christianity, both of which sought absolute values, came to be overwhelmed by relative views of value and eventually became ineffective. That brings us back to the point that tile confusion in today's world cannot be solved without a new view of value (that is, the absolute view of value).

A. Views of Value in the Growth Period

1. The Materialistic View of Value

A materialistic natural philosophy arose in Ionia, an ancient Greek colony, in the sixth century B. C. Before that time, Greece had been a tribal society in the age of mythology, but Ionian philosophers were not satisfied with mythological explanations and tried to explain the world and human life from a viewpoint based on nature.

In the Ionian city of Miletus, foreign trade thrived and merchants were engaged in trade activities throughout the Mediterranean Sea. They were realistic and active. In such an atmosphere, people gradually discarded the mythical ways of thinking.

Concerning the root-cause (arrhi) of all things, Thalev (ca. 62-1-546 B. C.) advocated that it was water; Anaximander (ca. 610-547 B. C.), that it was the boundless (apeiron); Anaximenes (ca. 585-528 B. C.), that it was air; and Heraclitus (ca. 535-475 B. C.), that it was fire. Together with such natural philosophies, objective and rational ways of thinking came to be fostered.

2. The Arbitrary (Sophistic) View of Value

During the fifth century B. C., democracy developed in Greece centering on Athens, and young people sought to acquire knowledge for the purpose of success in life. To be successful, the art of persuasive speech (rhetoric) was especially important. Scholars were paid to instruct young people in the art of persuasion; those scholars came to be called sophists.

Until their, Greek philosophy had dealt primarily with nature; but philosophers became aware that human problems could not be solved through natural philosophy alone and gradually turned their eyes to the problems of human society. They soon realized that whereas natural laws are objective, the laws and morality of human society differ from country to country and from age to age, with no apparent objectivity or universality. For that reason, the sophists came to take a relativistic, skeptical position on values, giving up any effort to find solutions to social problems. Protagoras (ca. 481-411 B. C.) said, "man is the measure of all things," meaning that the standard of truth differs depending on the person-which clearly indicated relativism.

The sophists, at first, had an enlightening effect on the public, but gradually became skeptical about the existence of' truth. They attached importance only to the art of persuasion, and attempted to win arguments at any cost, even by resorting to false reasoning, or "sophistry." Soon they began to use fallacies in their arguments. That is why the word "sophist" came to mean "a person who uses clever but misleading reasoning."

3. The Pursuit of Absolute Value

a) Socrates

Socrates (470-399 B. C.) appeared when sophism was rampant in Greek Society, and lie deplored it. For him, the Sophists pretended to know, but in reality they knew nothing. Of himself, he said, "One thing only I know for sure, and that is that I know nothing." Such was the starting point of his plan to reach true knowledge. He sought the basis of morality in the God (daimon) inherent within the human being, and asserted that morality is absolute and universal. Virtue, as taught by him, was a loving attitude of seeking knowledge, and "knowledge is virtue" was his fundamental thought. He also advocated the unity of knowledge and action, saying that once one knows virtue, one should put it into practice without fail.

How can someone obtain true knowledge? True knowledge is not to be poured into a person by others, nor can it be known by an individual alone. Only through dialogue (questions and answers) with others can someone reach true knowledge (the universal truth) which satisfies all people, Socrates thought. He then sought to save Athens from its social disorder by establishing absolute, universal virtues.

b) Plato

Plato (427-347 B. C.) thought that there is an unchangeable world of essence behind the changing world of phenomena, and called it the world of Ideas. Yet, since people's souls are trapped in their bodies, people are usually convinced that the phenomenal world is true reality. The human soul previously existed in a world of Ideas, but when it came to dwell in the body, the soul was separated from the world of Ideas. Accordingly, the soul constantly longs for the world of Ideas, which is the true reality. For Plato, knowledge of Ideas is nothing but a recollection of what the soul knew before coming into the body. Ethical Ideas included beauty, truth, and goodness, with the Idea of the Good regarded as supreme.

Plato enumerated the four virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice as the virtues that everyone must have. He field that those who rule the state, especially, must be philosophers with the virtue of wisdom and an understanding of the Idea of the Good. For Plato, the Idea of the Good was the source of all values. Inheriting Socrates' spirit, Plato sought to find absolute value.

B. Views of Value in the Hellenistic-Roman Period

The Hellenistic-Roman period covers a time span of approximately three centuries, from the time Alexander the Great defeated Persia until the time the Roman forces conquered Egypt and unified the Mediterranean world. An individualistic trend, seeking one's own safety and peace of mind, was predominant in this era. The fall of the city-state (polis) rendered useless the theories of value centered on the state, and the Greeks began to emphasize individual ways of living under increasingly unstable social conditions. At the same time, cosmopolitanism, transcending the bounds of nationality, was enhanced. The representative schools of thought of this era were the Stoic, the Epicurean, and the Skeptic schools of thought.

Under this individualistic tendency, people came to feel a sense of powerlessness; so, in the Roman period, people sought a way to be elevated to a position beyond that of the human condition, and gradually developed religious aspirations. Neoplatonism was the fruit of this trend.

1. The Stoic School

Logos (law, reason) dwells in all things in the universe, and the universe moves in an orderly fashion according to laws. Likewise, Logos dwells in people as well. Therefore, we can know the law of the universe through our reason, and should "live according to nature." That was the basic position of the Stoic school.

The Stoics held that people feel pain because they have passions. To solve this, people should rid themselves of passions and reach the state of apathy (the absence of passion)---or the perfectly peaceful state of a mind that will not be tempted in any way. Thus, tile Stoic school advocated an asceticism in which the supreme virtue was apathy.

Whether they be Greeks or Orientals, all people have to obey the law of the universe. For the Stoics, Logos was God, and all people were brothers and sisters as God's children. Thus they established cosmopolitanism. The founder of the Stoic school was Zeno of Citium (ca. 336-264 B. C.).

2. The Epicurean School

In contradistinction to the Stoic school, which advocated ascetism, the Epicurean school, which started with Epicurus (341-270 B. C.), advocated pleasure as the supreme good. Epicurus considered pleasure to be directly in accord with virtue. By pleasure lie did not mean physical pleasure, but rather having no pain in one's body and giving calm and repose to one's soul. Epicurus called this peaceful state of mind ataraxia, or the state of separation from pain, and regarded it as the supreme state of being.

3. The Skeptic School

People come into the experience of pain because they pass judgment on things one way or another. Pyrrho (ca. 356-275 B. C.) urged people to seek calmness of mind by suspending all judgment. This is called "epoch" or "suspension of judgment." The Skeptic school asserted that, since knowledge of the truth cannot be attained by human beings, it is best to abstain from any form of judgment whatsoever.

Absence of passion (apathy) of the Stoic school, pleasurable peace of' mind (ataraxia) of the Epicurean school, non-judgment (edoche) of the Skeptic school-all those methods were attempts to find calmness of mind for the individual. Thus they regarded as questionable the absoluteness of value, which had been pursued by Socrates and Plato.

4. Neoplatonism

Greek philosophy continued into the Roman period, which followed the Hellenistic period. The culmination of the philosophy of the Hellenistic-Roman period was Neoplatonism, a philosophical viewpoint whose most eminent proponent was Plotinus (A. D. 205270).

Plotinus advocated "emanation theory," according to which everything flows out of God. Specifically, he asserted that nous (reason), which is the closest reality to the perfection of God, and then the soul, and finally imperfect matter emanated from God stage by stage. Formerly, Greek philosophy had propounded a dualism that regarded God and matter as conflicting with each other. In contrast, Plotinus advocated monism, claiming that God is everything.

The human soul flows out into the sensual material world, and at the same time seeks to return to nous and to God. Therefore, people should not be captured by physical things, and their souls should ascend to the level of perceiving God, thereby becoming united with Him. Such an achievement was regarded as the supreme virtue. Plotinus said that the human being becomes completely united with God in "ecstasy," which he regarded as the highest state of mind.

Hellenistic philosophy culminated with Plotinus and Neoplatonism had a great impact on Christian philosophy, which was to emerge next.

C. The Views of Value in the Medieval Period

1. Augustine

Augustine (354-430) provided a philosophical basis for faith in Western Christianity. God was regarded as eternal, unchangeable,. omniscient, omnipotent, a being of supreme goodness, supreme love, and supreme beauty, and the Creator of the universe. In contrast with Plato, who regarded the world of Ideas ' as independent in itself, Augustine held that Ideas exist within the mind of God, and asserted that everything was created with Ideas as the prototypes. In opposition to Neoplatonism, which held that the world necessarily emanated from God, Augustine advocated creation theory, saying that God freely created the world from nothing, not utilizing any material. Then, why is the human being sinful? For Augustine, the reason is that Adam, the first human ancestor, misused freedom and betrayed God. Fallen people can be saved only through God's grace. Augustine said that faith in God, hope for salvation, and love for God and one's neighbors are the way to true happiness, and recommended the three virtues of faith, hope, and love.

2. Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), who firmly established Christian theology, divided virtues into religious and natural. Religions virtues were the three primary virtues of Christianity, namely, faith, hope, and love, and natural virtues were the four primary virtues of Greek philosophy, namely, wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice. Religious virtues, among which love was the supreme one, would lead to bliss, and people would become qualified to receive bliss through loving God and their neighbors. Natural virtues were in accordance with obedience to the directives of reason. Natural virtues were regarded as a means to gain religious virtues.

D. Modern Views of Value

In the modern period, nothing significant emerged with regard to views of value. Modern views of value can be seen as extensions or transformations of Greek philosophy and Christian views of value.

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) began by doubting all established values. He was not a skeptic, however, rather, he attempted to find something steadfast through doubt. As a result, he reached tile fundamental principle of "I think, therefore, I am." He put reason as the basis for judgment, and that gave rise to Descartes' view of value, namely that people should act with a resolute will while controlling their passions through reason.

Blaise Pascal (162.3-1662) regarded the human being as it contradictory being, having greatness as well as wretchedness. This lie expressed by saying that "Man is a thinking reed." By nature, human beings are the weakest of all beings, but they are the greatest by virtue of their ability to think. Still, people's true happiness consists not in using reason but rather in reaching God through faith, or through heart. 18

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) discussed how truth, goodness, and beauty come into being, expounding on them in Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason, and Critique of judgment, respectively. He stated that people should actualize these values. Especially with regard to morality, lie asserted that people should act according to the unconditional moral imperative to "do some thing" -- that is, the categorical imperative, which comes from practical reason.

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) advocated the concept of "the greatest happiness of the greatest number," adding that the state of absence of pain is happiness. He reasoned that the value of human behavior can be determined by calculating pleasure and pain quantitatively. Bentham's utilitarianism was a theory of value that came into being in the context of the Industrial Revolution, and was a Hyungsang view of value.

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) advocated three stages of existence, saying that people should pass through the "aesthetic stage" and the "ethical stage" in order to reach the "religious stage" of existence. lie preached that people should not live for pleasure; in his view, it is not sufficient to live conscientiously by observing ethics; rather, people should live as though standing before God in faith. Kierkegaard tried to revive the true Christian view of value.

Friedrich W. Nietzsche (1844-1900) regarded Europe at the end of the 19th century as being in the era of nihilism, in which all systems of value were collapsing. He described Christianity as "slave morality," that is, morality that oppresses people and equalizes them. He regarded Christianity as the greatest cause of the rise of nihilism. So, he presented a new theory of value with "will to power" as its standard. "Live strongly in this godless world," was Nietzsche's assertion.

Wilhelm Windelband (1848-1915). of the Neo-Kantian school, dealt with values as the central issue of philosophy, taking up the values of truth, goodness, and beauty in a united way. Following Kant, who had distinguished matters of fact from matters of right, Windelband distinguished judgments of fact from judgments of value, and said that the task of philosophy was to deal with judgments of value.

A judgment of fact is an objective proposition about a fact, whereas a judgment of value is a proposition in which a subjective appraisal of a fact is made. For example, the propositions "this flower is red" and "the man built the house" are fact judgments; whereas the propositions "this flower is beautiful" and "that mail's conduct is good," are value judgments. Since then, fact and value have been dealt with as separate issues, in the sense that factual judgment are dealt with in natural science, and value judgments are dealt with in philosophy.

This century has seen the rise of analytical philosophy, which employs the "logical analysis of language" as the most appropriate method of philosophy. Analytical philosophy took the following positions with regard to axiology:

(1) One cannot know values except through intuition;
(2) a judgment of value is nothing but an expression of the speaker's feelings about moral approval or disapproval;
(3) axiology is significant only for the analysis of value language. Analytical philosophy generally sought to exclude axiology from philosophy.

Pragmatism, represented by John Dewey (1859-1952), based value judgment on usefulness for life. Such value concepts as truth, goodness, and beauty were regarded as nothing but means, or tools, for processing things effectively. From this standpoint, what is perceived as valuable will differ from person to person. Even the same person may differ in the way he or she perceives value. Dewey's standpoint is one of relativism and pluralism.

Lastly, I will mention the Communist view of value. The following definition of the Communist view of value is given by B. P. Tugarinov (1898- ): "Value is a phenomenon of nature or society that is useful and necessary for those people who belong to a particular society or class in history, as something actual, its a purpose, or as an ideal." 19 For Communism, usefulness for the proletariat class is the standard of value. A postulate of the Communist view of value was that all the established religious systems of value, which were regarded as bourgeois systems of values, had to be denied and destroyed. For Communism, a moral act is an act that is useful in promoting collective life for constructing Communist society. It includes such virtues as dedication, obedience, sincerity, love for comrades, and mutual help.

E. The Necessity for a New View of Value

As seen above, many systems of value have appeared throughout history; in fact, history can be seen as a succession of failed attempts to establish absolute values.

In ancient Greece, Socrates and Plato tried to establish absolute values by pursuing true knowledge. With the collapse of the Greek city-state society, however, the views of value of Greek philosophy also collapsed. Next, Christianity tried to establish absolute values centered on God's love (agape). The Christian view of value ruled medieval society, but with the collapse of medieval society, it gradually lost its power.

In the modern period, Descartes and Kant established views of value centered on reason, as in Greek philosophy; yet, their understanding of God, which was the basis for their views of value, was ambiguous. As a result, their views of value fell short of being absolute. Pascal and Kierkegaard tried to revive true Christian values, but they fell short of establishing a firm system of value.

The Neo-Kantian school dealt with value as one of the main issues in philosophy, but they completely separated philosophy, which deals with values, from natural science, which deals with facts. As a result, many problems came into being. As scientists have continued to analyze facts in disregard of values, the results have been weapons of mass destruction, the abuse of the natural environment, pollution, and so forth.

Utilitarianism and pragmatism are materialistic systems of value, which makes their views of values completely relative. Analytical philosophy is a philosophy without value. Nietzsche's philosophy and Communism can be described as anti-value philosophies opposing traditional views of value.

Traditional views of value based on Greek philosophy and Christianity are no longer regarded as important today. Traditional views of value have become weak and separated from natural science. Now they have been almost completely eliminated even from the field of philosophy. As a result, society today is in extreme confusion. The appearance of a new view of value that can establish absolute values while revitalizing the traditional systems of value is deeply hoped for. This new view of value should be able to overcome materialism and to guide science with its correct view of value. This is so because value and fact are in the relationship of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and just as Sungsang and Hyungsang are united in existing beings, value and fact are originally united. Unification axiology is precisely that which has appeared to answer this demand of our times.
>> Go to top


© 2006 The Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought. All rights reserved.
sitemap