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The question is how world unity can be accomplished. This problem is a complex one since a variety of factors are involved in this issue. To find a solution, let us identify the forces that unite the people of the world. Similarly, let us also identify the forces that disunite people. Identifying those forces will enable us to find the values to be discarded and values to be assimilated to attain the goal of world unity.
The human society consists of many independent nations practising different political systems and adhering to diverse cultures. Despite these diversities, all the independent nations function in unison on several issues. The spectacular advancement in transport and communication systems during the last century has brought all the societies of the world close to one another. This technological advancement serves as a unifying force in the human society. The reason is that scientific and technical knowledge is universal in nature and is useful to all. Every society acquires knowledge from other societies and uses it for their welfare and progress. Thus, knowledge acts as a unifying force.
For example, the knowledge of Medical Science that developed phenomenally in Western Europe during the last two centuries has spread throughout the world crossing national borders. Consequently, the entire human society is benefited. It has considerably reduced human suffering.
Similarly, the knowledge developed in various subjects has spread all over the world and serves the entire human society. The electronic communication system and the mass media spread information quickly and efficiently. The educational institutions of a nation spread scientific and technical knowledge developed in other countries. By spreading knowledge, the entire human society is benefited. Thus, knowledge acts as an excellent unifying force in the human society.
Economic dependence on other nations is the other desirable unifying force. In the present times, no nation can progress if it remains in isolation. Every nation, big or small, rich or poor, needs the assistance and co-operation of other nations for its welfare and progress. Economic interdependence is greater now than it was in the past. Nations enter into bilateral and multi-lateral trade agreements for their welfare and progress. These trade and other cultural relationships between nations act as a unifying force in the human society.
However, there are many forces that spoil the development of the feeling of universal brotherhood. The differences of culture, particularly the differences of religious faiths, beliefs and customs, act as the main disruptive force. All true religions preach the idea of the brotherhood of man, but don’t practice it. They give importance only to rituals and ceremonies and not to the idea of universal brotherhood. Moreover, the people having faith in a certain religion assume that their faiths, beliefs and customs are superior to those of others. They also assume blindly that the religious faiths of others are either wrong or false. This mindset spoils the development of the feeling of oneness.
Most people remain as prisoners to the inherited faiths, beliefs and customs. Their insularity keeps them narrow-minded and their mindset and culture make them hate others blindly. Their prejudices and selfishness make them intolerant and unjust in interhuman dealings. In this manner, religious fanatism acts as the main obstacle to world unity. Selfishness and egoism of the people are the other obstacles.
In this social environment, ‘world unity’ can be achieved provided we change our values sensibly based on love and reason. Philosophy says that loving humankind and upholding the spirit of brotherhood honestly and sincerely is the means to achieve unity. Accordingly, we have to extend our love towards all the people of the world irrespective of their race, colour, caste, religion and nationality.
Loving fellow human beings means many things. ‘Love’ should reflect in all our activities. It should echo in our faiths, beliefs, customs and institutions. Basically, we have to accept that humanity is one and that all human beings are the members of one human society. We need to accept the idea that all are equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunities.
We have to change all our values (political, social and economic) in consonance with the concept of equality. We need to cherish values such as love, truth, compassion and justice. We should associate and interact with fellow human beings in the spirit of equality. We need to be humane and just in all interhuman dealings. As Confucian ethics prescribe, we should not do to others what we do not want others to do to us. The state, as an instrument of society needs to act on the same moral principle. The state should enforce righteousness on every front and uphold natural justice. It should engage itself in resolving international problems and settle issues with love and reason. So, assimilating the concepts of human equality and brotherhood is the right step to forge ‘world unity’.
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