The roles of culture, religion,
science, and education must grow enormously. The responsibility of
the centers of humanity's intellectual, scientific, and religious
development is immense and must be given preeminence.
The future of human society will not be defined in terms of
capitalism versus socialism. It was that dichotomy that caused the
division of the world community into two blocs and brought about
so many catastrophic consequences. We need to find a paradigm that
will integrate all the achievements of the human mind and human
action, irrespective of which ideology or political movement can
be credited with them. This paradigm can only be based on the
common values that humankind has developed over many centuries.
The search for a new paradigm should be a search for synthesis,
for what is common to and unites people, countries, and nations,
rather than what divides them.
The search for such a synthesis can succeed if the following
conditions are met.
- First of all, we must return to the well-known human values
that were embodied in the ideals of world religions and also in
the socialist ideas that inherited much from those values.
- Further, we need to search for a new paradigm of
development, based on those values and capable of leading us all
toward a genuinely humanistic or, more precisely,
humanistic-ecological culture of living.
- Finally, we need to develop methods of social action and
policy that will direct society to a path consistent with the
interests of both humanity and the rest of nature.
When I speak of a new synthesis, of the need for increasing
unity and interdependence, I am not calling for a kind of
universal leveling, sameness or uniformity. I do not accept a
civilization that would be like a huge historic steamroller,
flattening out everything. Who would need such a new civilization,
and why even call it new? By no means do I want all countries and
nations to become alike. I think that the civilization to which we
all belong is one of great multiplicity. And that is a source of
its strength, the basis for the exchange of cultural values, for
comparing methods of organization and ways of living.
The philosophy of the twenty-first century must be grounded in
a philosophy of diversity. If life as such is the highest value,
then even more precious is the singular identity of every nation
and every race as a unique creation of nature and human history.
At the same time, we must begin to define certain moral maxims
or ethical commandments that constitute values common to all
humankind. It is my view that the individual's attitude toward
nature must become one of the principal criteria for ensuring the
maintenance of morality. Today it is not enough to say "Thou
shalt not kill." Ecological education implies, above all,
respect and love for every living being. It is here that
ecological culture interfaces with religion.
The beauty and uniqueness of life lies in the unity of
diversity. Self-identification--of every individual and of the
many different nations, ethnic groups and nationalities--is the
crucial condition for preserving life on Earth. Struggles and
conflicts burn out the diversity of life, leaving a social
wasteland in their wake.
Honoring diversity and honoring the Earth creates the basis
for genuine unity.