Monday, June 13, 2016
UNITY OF MANKIND IS A PHILOSOPHY, CANNOT BE A RELIGION NOR NATIONAL POLITICS BY FRANCIS C W FUNG, PH.D.
UNITY OF MANKIND IS A PHILOSOPHY, CANNOT BE A RELIGION NOR NATIONAL POLITICS BY FRANCIS C W FUNG, PH.D. I listened to Obama on June 12,2016 spoke out against one of the most horrific single terrorist shooting in the world as leader of the most powerful and prosperous nation, a Nobel peace laureate no less. I was extremely disappointed. In his high sounding speech, he spoke only of unity of America that America must unite under “our value”. He left out completely the cause of terrorism and our responsibility that it may arise from the conflicts of cultures and to some degree terrorism may be the direct result of our misadventure in the Middle East. He never spoke about the UNITY of MANKIND, that under this great unity, cultural conflict and thus terrorism may be minimized. UNITY of MANKIND is not a new philosophy, in fact in the ancient civilization of China, dating back to 2000 years ago, during the days of Waring States, Confucius travelled from State to State to teach UNITY of MANKIND. His sayings that “All men are brothers within the four seas” and “the day of great world unity will surely come” still ring in our ears today. The Baha’i Faith preaches a unity of mankind under the Baha’I Faith. U.S. preaches a unity of mankind that is based on our “universal values”. For those nations who do not believe in our “universal values” we are free to use our military power to launch “regime change” as in our Iraq and Afghanistan misadventures that led to the current terrorism movements. For discussion purpose, I classified UNITY OF MANKIND believes under three categories, namely philosophical, religious and national political. The Baha’i Faith Unity of Mankind is preconditioned on the doctrine that one must accept the Baha’i teaching and the one true God. The U.S. Unity of Mankind is preconditioned of every nation accept our political system of universal suffrage. Universal suffrage may appeal to individualism but at risk of overlooking group welfares of a nation. In order to implement the U.S. idea of Unity of Mankind, America is obsessed with the idea of leadership by absolute military power to the demise of the occupied nation’s welfare. As an ancient culture China was a nation of philosophy. China did not have a national religion, it embraced foreign religions, neither did China had a unified political ideology. After the period of “Let hundreds of (Philosophical) schools contend. Let hundreds of flowers bloom” during Warring States China settled down to Confucian philosophy to guide family order, national stability and world unity as mentioned earlier. After the last 30 some years of economic progress in China, President Xi Jingping is sounding a call of letting philosophy flourish. He is calling for seizing the current critical development period to rejuvenate and innovate philosophical revival. In a June 12, 2016 speech, he called for reviving philosophy (See my paper “TIME FOR PHILOSOPHY TO FLOURISH REJUVENATION OF CHINA AND HARMONY FOR THE WORLD) by launching a nationwide system engineering program that will include approaches of continuing ancient philosophy and preserving national characteristics at the same time innovate and keep up to day by opening up, also exhibiting systematic and professional thinking. In implementation he advised all government officials to think more about philosophy than political ideology; he restructures Marxism Research Institutes by expanding their philosophical content by rewriting Marxism and Maoism as philosophy; he also requires engineering teaching institutes and universities to establish philosophy departments and high school and university textbooks to increase philosophy contents. I believe President Xi’s programs will lead China back to its cultural tradition of Middle Kingdom rich in philosophy. World Unity as I shall expound in the following can only achieved by diverse philosophical thoughts rather than religions nor national political ideology. World Unity in simple terms is just multipolar globalization without hegemony and religious strife. The world connectivity as proposed by President Xi’s “One Belt One Road” initiative is a very important step. One Belt One road initiative revives the ancient silk road by connecting 60 % of the world population into a community of common destiny of mutual development. In basic terms the new silk road is the connectivity philosophy that can be shared by different culture. It is a concept that benefits the world. That is why it still binds the world, despite the different names that is conceived by different affinity regions. In China it is called the One belt One road initiative, in Russia it is called the Eurasia Union and in Mongolia and Arab it is called the Great Caravan Road. Philosophy is not doctrine based. It is often inclusive of different cultures, thus the same philosophy can be internalized in different cultural images, thus more universal. The world in long term perspective tends towards greater unity. Due to the advancement of transportation and communication, unity of mankind is often talked about and long overdue. The remaining question is how we are going to achieve unity. Of the three approaches the more likely candidate is through diverse but inclusive philosophy concepts but leading to the same end results as discussed in the above new silk road example. Both religions and politics as doctrines tend to be engrossed in jargons that demand strict following. Philosophy is the highest human form of cultural thinking that does not abide by religious or political commands. In the long term philosophy is going to outlast religion or political ideology. Philosophy as inclusive thinking is likely more free and human spirited. Religion demands obedience to the almighty God and politics demand obedience to the political party. Philosophy can flourish without higher organization control. I believe European Renaissance enlightenment did not go far enough as to replace religion by the then flourishing philosophy. In comparison, philosophy is the highest form of human endeavor that questions the meaning of life, the existence of God and the purpose of government. As such it allows the freest, no boundary and most timeless thinking. Religion is preconditioned upon faith upon one true God and all the human institution trappings that go with that religion. The fundamental clash among different religions has always been which religion represents the one true God. As to political ideology, U.S. being the strongest military power in the world, claims world leadership and hence the only political system with universal truth. In fact the U.S. government often indulges in short term and selfish thinking. U.S. hegemony is known not to accept multipolar thinking is against Unity of Mankind consist of diverse culture. On the contrary as explained in the above example of connectivity philosophy of new silk road contains diverse cultural elements to achieve connectivity. Furthermore, the return of Unity of Mankind as a philosophy called for by President Xi will be the most outstanding example for the world that will set the motion for world unity. Chinese culture has a natural affinity for diversity. The most famous theme for Chinese traditional painting is hundreds of birds or peonies to mean happiness and prosperity. This is a reflection of Chinese ancient believe of “Let hundreds of school contend. Let hundreds of flowers bloom” during the Warring States. In time the One Belt, One Road connectivity initiative and Unity of Mankind philosophy called for by president Xi will lead to the 21st century Globalization that will bring the world to the next level of development beyond European Renaissance and the 20th century globalization. The world will finally realize true inclusive unity of mankind with China again become the Middle Kingdom( See my Paper China will again be the Middle Kingdom in 21st Century). In Service of World Harmony Francis C W Fung, Ph.D. Director General World Harmony Organization San Francisco, CA