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Philosophy of Values

Moral Philosophy of Global Peace

Chhaya Rai
Rani Durgawati Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur; Madhya Pradesh, India

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ABSTRACT: Global Peace is the summum bonum, so we must know its negative as well as positive meanings. Simultaneously peace must be understood in all its interrelated but theoretically differentiated dimensions as personal, social, national, international and global. Today, humankind is suffering from multidimensional crises such as terrorism, population-explosion, denial of human rights, economic inequality, racial discrimination, ideological extremism, religious intolerance, social injustice, ecological imbalance, consumerism, oppression of weak, etc. These peace-related issues compel us to lay down the fundamental principles of a radical global ethics that expects us to realize our roles and duties regarding global peace. It includes the role and ideals of educationalists, the duties of scientists, philosophers, and thinkers, the inculcation of human values such as nonviolence, love, etc.

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"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds
of men that the defences of peace must be constructed"

-Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO

Global peace is the supreme ideal, or the Summum Bonum, so in order to know the exact meaning and real nature of peace as-well-as the ways to realise it, first of all, we have to rectify the prevailing tendency to think of peace only in negative terms as absence of bilateral war, since it encourages the pacifism, which does nothing, but denounce such war, while global overview confirms the presence of ethnic and civil war etc. Accordingly the negative definition of peace should also include the elimination of such wars. Sometimes peace as "Opposite of Violence" , as is done by Daisaku Ikeda. (1) Of course peace will be achieved by removing all kinds of violence such as war, environmental destruction, violation of human rights, cruelty against women and children, exploitation and oppression of weak, poor and illiterate etc. But peace is not merely a state of non-violence or absence of wars. Being a regulative goal of person, society mankind, it has positive aspect too, which should not be overlooked .

Peace must be understood in all its dimensions, theoretically differentiated as personal or mental peace i.e. the inner state of calm or tranquility, social peace i.e. the state of social justice and development. Peace at national level or national state of stability, progress and freedom from civil disorder. International peace or peace or peaceful relation among all nations, Global peace i.e. peaceful co-existence of all existent. Nevertheless practically " peace is indivisible and has to be global, if it has to be established on an enduring basis" (2) It must be global, because it is the foundation of the survival of mankind.

Mental peace reveals a state of unshakable quiet and composure, which is achieved through the inculcation of such creative virtues as friendliness, compassion, mercy, moderation, modesty, forgiveness, non-violence, love etc . Most of these virtues imply that "Peace carries with it a surpassing of personality" (3) or abandonment of egoism. It means that even the personal peace anticipates peaceful interpersonal relational relations . Now-a-days such personal peace is lacking, especially in those countries, which are in the grip of industrial consumerist culture, because it is very difficult to have mental peace in our restless fast life, continuously affected by rapid changes in socio-political and economic situations. Regarding social peace, we see that no society could remain peaceful due to the current problem terrorism, unemployment, communal and ethnic riots, party-politics and other internal disputes. Besides, no nation could achieve peaceful state in this world of international network, complicated by market-culture, ideological and other differences alongwith ecological crisis. After contemplating on such disturbing scenario, no intelligent person can deny the inseparability of different dimensions of peace, and also that today's ultimate ideal must Global peace.

Today mankind all over the world is suffering from multidimensional crisis such as terrorism, population-explosion, denial of human rights, economic inequality, racial discrimination, vanity of cultural superiority, ideological extremism, religious intolerance, nationalism, social injustice, poverty, starvation exploitation of nature, oppression of weaker section by powerful and rich, ecological imbalance, natural calamities, consumerism and so on. Prof. D. N. Pathak aptly throws light on the paradoxical world situation by elucidating that "there is poverty amidst plenty, over production Vs. undernourishment, affluence and wistful life in contrast to bare survival, overdevlopment Vs. underdevlopment, economic growth vs. ecological crisis, consumerism for a few as against denial of basic need for many, explosion of knowledge Vs illiteracy, globalization vs. intense nationalism. (4) "Thus undoubtedly the present day human problematic is essentially global, because "from the down of consciousness until 6th august 1945 man had to live with prospects of his death as an individual, (but) since the day when the first atomic bomb outshone the sun over H irosima man kind as a whole has had to live with prospects of its extinction as a species". (5) Gobachave endorses the same he writes in Perestroika "having entered the nuclear age, when the energy of atom is used for military purposes, mankind has lost its immolity". (6) Thus the survival of mankind and other related issues of peace compel us to lay down the fundamental principals of an emerging comprehensive global ethics that expects us to realize our freedom to choose between life and death, our active participation in decision - taking and policy- making and our commitment to human values and world peace.

As issues concerning global peace are mutually dependent, the principals of global ethics must be adhered to by ideologues, politicians, moralists, social scientists, reformers, religious authorities, educationists, median military personnel, scientists as well as ordinary citizens of the world.

We live in an age stained by cruelty, torture, conflict and violence etc., which are not natural conditions, but scourges to be eradicated. Hence global ethics expounds that peace may be achieved when exploitation and discrimination will be replaced by equality domination by autonomy, fragmentation by solidarity, marginalisation by participation in policy-making and vertical relationship among nations and horizontal relationship, hierarchical progress by surface progress, diplomacy by transparency, wants by need.

All of us share a yearning to lives out our lives in peace, but we have reached the crossroads, when peaceful living and healthy future of civilization depend upon the ecological balance or preservation of environment. So a radically new ethics enforces a solely novel attitude in regard to discharging our duties towards nature and the universe. We must learn a lesson from Gulf War, because it was fought for the resources of the earth. Truism emphasizes that ecological security transcends national boundaries, so environment has become a human responsibility. Han Jonas, therefore, writes "In-so-far as it is the fate of man as affected by the condition of nature, which make our concern about the preservation of nature a moral concern". (7)


Present global crisis poses challenge to existing education system too. So educationalists all over world must reconsider the roles and ideals of education, and also their priority based hierarchy. Actually Peace should be the integrated global ideal for education in disciplines. Only then the different branches of knowledge could be put into a socially relevant global context. First lesson to be taught is that every one of us must choose global peace as the supreme ideal.

It is very shocking to note that no serious and sustained and consideration is given to human search for peace in the academic circle, while ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. Historians all over the world have been more occupied with the stories of war, while peace endeavors have been very significant from the very beginning of human culture. For example, in Arabic culture "Salaam" expresses a wish for peace in interpersonal relationship, Greek tradition believes in "Irene" the goddess of peace which leads to material well-being. "Ax " or Roman word for peace is still used for treaties between two or more nations. In India "Shanty " has been a multifaceted concept, and it has a considerable impact on Indian life-style from the very beginning for her recorded history. The Cosmo-political ethics, therefore, demands that history of human culture must be understood from the point of view of peace-making and peace- keeping efforts.

Another tragic feature is the emphasis on highly specific knowledge and skills during vocational and professional educate without any training in professional ethic, which leaves professions ill prepared for taking decisions conducive to peace. On the other hand, those trained to explore the issues from moral Pont of view often lack the scientific or specific knowledge to question technological or other types of decisions, especially policy decision.

We are fortunate that many professional groups as IPPNO (International Philosophers for peace and Prevention of Nuclear and other threats), Architects for peace, Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPE), Psychologists for Peace (PEP), Scientists Against Nuclear Arm (SANA) and other NGOs have identified the universal idea of peace that transcends professional bounds. These professional groups provide support to those who seek to contribute to psychological and disarmament by encouraging moral urge and commitment to peace. Secondly, the are eliminates the basic cause of disappointment i.e. the gulf between key decision-makers and the suffering humanity by compelling the policy-makers to take designs to establish peace. We are lucky that now have global communication as-well-as transport system. Consequently our voices ourselves can reach wherever we like and whenever we want.


Reminding the scientists and technocrats of their obligation to choose peaceful means, Albert Camus wrote on 6th august 1945, the day Hiroshima was bombed, "Technological civilization has just reached its final degree of savagery, we will have to choose, in a relatively near future, between collective suicide and the intelligent use of scientific conquests". (8) Nevertheless most of the scientists and technocrats are still ignoring Camas," warning due to their divorce from global responsibilities and their exclusive concentration on research and discoveries. The invention of biological, chemical, nuclear and sophisticated Laser Weapons are evidence of their reluctance to perform their duty towards humanity. In spite of many UN special sessions on global disarmament, there is no end to arms race. World-view affirms that science and technology are being frequently used as instruments of exploitation, domination and distraction then as mean in the service of mankind. In such a situation, it becomes a duty of all scientists to take more and more interest in public affairs and try to influence the national as -well -as the international policies in favor of peace by informing the public about the nature, availability and effects of pace by informing the public about the nature, availability and effects of nuclear and other types of weapons, and also about the safe alternative defense-policy. Simultaneously they must to committed to create a climate for universal goodwill. They can definitely contribute to peace, because they atlas have power and ability to invent the means to peace or misery.


The issues relating to peaceful co-existence are not solely the property of politicians, national leaders and social scientists, but of everyone. Every citizen of this global village must be aware of his/her responsibility. But now? By adopting an essentially new way of thinking i.e. holistic thinking. And here lies the duty of philosophers and ethical thinkers to make men free from their deep-rooted superstitions, dogmas and also from illogical, irrational and out-dated way of thinking. We have bore-evaluate the re-evaluate the relevance of traditional politico-national goals such as patriotism, nationalism, and also of spiritual ideals of personal salvation and self realization etc., because the recent global situation requires a review and reassessment of traditional ideas and ideals from the global perspective to every decision-maker, from voters to executives, from parents to national leaders, from national bodies to international organization. The greatest responsibility of thinkers is to see that humanity should be upheld as supreme. Hence it is necessary to awake conscience at personal, national and even at international level. Because "the seeds of peace do not lie in lofty ideas, but in human understanding and empathy of ordinary people".

The futility of those philosophies and ideologies, which declare "conflict" or "strife" as a necessary condition for progress, has been proved. Those, therefore, should replace such philosophies, which accept peace as factor contributory to progress. The interpretation of progress in terms of conflict and competition, which is a legacy of Malts, Darwin, Marx and industrial civilization, must be replaced by the interpretation in terms of co-operation or peaceful relation, because peace within and without is not only a preferable condition for progress, but it is an essential one. The road to a peaceful future can only be traversed through co-operation based on the recognition of equality among nations and peoples, and those peas, to respect the sovereignty of humanity.

Further, the hope for peace can not rest only on interested persons; they must have their own organization. Only then they may be powerful and successful in creating a general goodwill, which is requisite during the current global crisis. Dedicated persons alongwith their organizations must initiate peace-movements, convince indifferent politicians, governments and peoples to participate in peacekeeping. It is a matter of delight that today we have several such national and international associations.

Peace organizations must pressurize the Governments and the policymakers to implement the resolutions and peace-proposals, recommended in national, international conferences and UMO sessions. Of course, "peace can not be brought about by fine phrases and nice Lectures, but by hard work and sacrifice". (11) So we have to abolish following four major barriers by powerful actions. First, negligence i.e. we find no time to think over disturbing global problems. Second, feeling of helplessness. Most of us feel that we can not change the decisions taken by national leaders and international authorities. Third and major obstacle is fascination with war and violence, due to which not only the superpowers, but other countries too are still trying to dress themselves with different kinds of weapons in spite of the awareness of their destructive effects. Fourth is the paralyzing social embarrassment of daring to question authority.

To have peace in every walk of life, we must educate ourselves and others in ideal of human conduct, for ultimately man himself is the insurmountable barrier in the accomplishment of peace, since alternatives of war and peace, of progress and regress, of construction and destruction are matters of human choice; they are not historical processes. Pitirim Sorokin, therefore, appeals 12 that science should take holiday for atlas fifty years and efforts should be concentrated on the study of creative possibilities of man. If we want peace Inver region and at every level, we have to imbibe creative qualities or virtues such as love, friendliness, self-control, sacrifice, modesty, non-violence, forgiveness, tolerance, compassion, gentleness, self-contentment etc., because "To have knowledge of virtues" is not sufficient, "To be virtues" is more important. Virtues must be reflected in our thought, speech and conduct. Simultaneously destructive qualities or vices such as anger, greed, arrogance, pride, excessive self-esteem, treachery and willful doing of injury to others should be denounced. The cultivation of noble qualities as well as the elimination of demoniac qualities requires extensive moral training. Accordingly the duty of moralists, philosophers, religious thinkers, social reformers and philanthropists is to devote their life for such training.

The need of the hour is to proclaim again and again the significance of non-violence, since world is disturbed by ethnic violence, apartheid, political violence, religious war etc. Non- violence, being a very comprehensive virtue, has been the most fundamental principle of establishing peace. Negatively interpreted, it is "Not to cause pain or tend to cause pain or injury to any living being in thought, speech and conduct. (12) Positively non-violence is love for all living creatures. As love it is unambiguously proclaimed as essential to human life style. (13) According to Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest proponent of non-violence in 20th century, it is not merely a personal virtue, so it ought to be cultivated at and extended to social, national and international levels. Most of the celebrities bilieve that Gandhian technique of non-violence can redeem today world. Global society is made up of constantly changing relationship, yet non -violence is still useful, since it springs from inner realization of the equality of all living beings and intimacy with nature of ecosphere.

Consensus on those human values, which are primarily related to peace-keeping must be achieved by awaking the public awareness throughout the world. Philosophers, educationalists, teachers, social reformers, and NGOs should come forward to evoke such awareness through exhibitions, education, public lectures, dialogues and communication media-T.V.Redio, Newspapers etc.

UNESCO conference on media and disarmament frequently emphasized the role and responsibility of mass media in strengthening peace and international understanding. Media can sensitize public opinion to major global problem confronting the world. Alongwith truthful reporting, the media must remind the readers of the possibility - indeed, the necessity - of peaceful solutions to disputes. (14)

Respected for human life from the basic foundation of global peace, "No action is worthy of human effort, if it degrades man, even if it the outcome is a spectacular success". (15) Kant's formula of categorical imperative emphasizes this point by instructing to treat human being as ends-in-themselves. (16) Jainism, Buddhism, Philanthropism, and all types of have reverence for life. So the slogan of SGI is "Remember your humanity". Since the universe is an organic whole, governed by cosmic order, all human beings must be treated as fellows. Secondly, as human nature all over the world is same, it is irrational to consider some persons as brothers and others as enemies. Thus on the basis of cosmology and psychology, we must prepare the ground for the intuition that all men are equal. Hence global peace requires the performance of those actions which are based on self-analogy.

Further for the sake of world peace the ideal of "well-being of all " ought to be incorporated in global ethics, since peace can be brought when one strives for the welfare of all instead of one s own good. If the notion of welfare were translated into action, it would automatically uproot the evils that disturb world-peace. If we adopt it is guiding principles of our actions, social disturbances can definitely be reduced to minimum.

"Mutual Trust" is also needed in this stage of trans-nationalism, when UNO is trying to formulate a New World order, in which national sovereignty is no longer considered absolute. Psychology informs us that where divisibility prevails, human beings become isolated and victims of unhappiness and misery. It is true of nations, which are constituent parts of and the same global system.

Global peace invites us to adopt the policy of Dialogue or Bilateral Negotiations. We are living in a very crucial age, were confrontational determination to counter force should be replaced by a policy of non-violent dialogue. Ideological extremism, religious authoritarianism, extreme patriotism, imperialistic tendency etc lead to intolerance and fanaticism, and these rob people of their ability to engage in dialogue. While peace seekers argue in favor of "preparedness to discuss, examine and change (if necessary) our own beliefs and those of others, entirely on the grounds of factual experience and reason". (17) By direct communication even the ideologically inspired enmity or mistrust can be dissolved and the aim of global peace may be achieved. I do not claim that foregoing description is comprehensive and exhaustive. Nevertheless I believe that it is a step towards formulating a moral philosophy of global peace. In the end, I invite you to "walk together and speak in concord, let our minds comprehend alike, let our efforts be united, let our hearts be in agreement, let our minds be united, only then we all may be happy" 18

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(1) Ex-president, Soka Gakkai International. His suggestions and Proposals to the third U.N. special session on disarmament on 31st May 1988.

(2) Murty, K.S. , The Quest for peace , Introduction , XXVIII

(3) Whitehead , A.N. Adventures of Ideas , p. 327

(4) Pathak, D.N., and Gandhi s vision: A search for lasting peace and security, p.7 (D.N. Pathak is the Director, Peace Research Center, Gujrat Vidyapeeth Ahemedabad).

(5) British Writer Arthor Koestler being his works "Janus" with these lines.

(6) Gorbachev, M. Perestroika, PP 225-266 (Chapter 7).

(7) Jonas, Hans. , The Imperative of Responsibilitive, P.7.

(8) Philosophy Today, spring, 1988, Vol.32, No.1/4 P. 77.

(9) Soka Gakkai News, Vol. 18, No. 286, March 1993 P.7.

(10) Murty, K.S., The Quest for Peace, P. 214.

(11) In his book "Reconstruction of Humanity ".

(12) Acharangasutra (a Jain Treatise).

(13) Dammapad 3.5 - Never in thise world is hate appeased by hatred. It is only appeared by love. This is an eternal law.

(14) Mac Bride Report, Many Voices, One World, UNESCO, 1980.

(15) Dimensions of Peace and Non-violence: The Gandhian Perspective P. 22.

(16) The Moral Law, P. 90.

(17) The quest for peace, P. 196.

(18) Rgvedic Prayer.

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