Human beings are value-creating animals. Only by creating values (moral principles) can human beings interact with fellow beings and live collectively as a society. The values created by them provide code of ethics to be followed by all the members of the society. Just values created by them keep inter-human relationship cordial and meaningful. The sane and righteous moral values prevent the development of anarchic condition in the society and keep it in good order. The value system created by people serves as a means to unite the people and to strive collectively for common welfare.
Many moral values are identical in all human societies and only a few values vary. For instance, in respect of marriage, different moral values exist in human society. Monogamy is considered right in many societies. But, polygamy is also looked upon as the right deed in Islamic and African societies. This variation is due to cultural differences.
Values are not permanent and eternal either. Some values become obsolete in course of time due to change of conditions. For instance, a few centuries ago orthodox Christian and Hindu societies considered marriage as a sacred bond that should not be broken. Adhering to this principle, they did not allow divorce. But, having realised the necessity for allowing divorce, all societies now allow divorce.
New and wise values need to be created to solve the new problems emerging in the human society. At present, atomic bomb is the biggest problem in the human society. The reason is that the latest atomic bombs are very powerful and their destructive capacity is monstrous. A single 100 megaton fusion bomb is capable of fully destroying all military and industrial complexes within an area of several thousand square kilometers. The dangerous radiation zone resulting from such a blast could encompass an area of hundreds of thousands of square kilometers.
Nuclear experts ascertain that if ‘nuclear war’ breaks out and atomic bombs are used widely, human civilization will be destroyed. This situation is quite new to the human society. This problem is bewildering.
What steps do we need to take to prevent a nuclear war? What values should we discard? What values should we assimilate? What values should we develop to solve the new problems that we face today? These questions haunt the minds of thinking persons living all over the world since they are aware that a nuclear war can annihilate the entire human society.
To prevent a nuclear war, thinkers opine that forming a world government will be the right solution. Studying this problem in detail, the famous British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) suggests the formation a ‘world government’. He says that there is only one way in which the world can be made safe from war and that is the creation of worldwide authority to control all the serious weapons. Many thinkers like Thomas Paine and H.G.Wells express the same idea. Famous scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) says: “There is only one path to peace and security: The path of a supranational organization”.
That world authority that we make should have the power to inspect the military arsenal of all countries. That organisation should have its own international armed force to carry out their activities. Only then can the organisation function effectively. To institute such a world organisation, radical changes in the mental outlook of the people are essential. Many existing values need to be replaced by new values. Identifying them is the need of the present times.
Of all the cultural values, nationalism comes to our attention first because it dominates the thoughts of the people a lot. National outlook is not conducive to the nuclear age. Because, national patriotic mental altitude makes people assume national interest as paramount. This narrow outlook makes people strive for their own nation’s welfare and ignore the interest of other nations. National affinity makes people unjust in dealing with other nations. National patriotism prevents people from actively involving in the problems affecting the larger human society. This narrow outlook acts as a hurdle to world unity and for formation of world government. It functions as a divisive force. Thereby, national patriotism and loyalty are no more relevant to this atomic age. Nationalism has become a dangerous value unless it is synthesised to the idea of internationalism.
Next to nationalism, religions act as a major hurdle to World unity. In human society, varieties of religious faiths, beliefs and customs exist. Lots of people are under the false notion that their religious ideas are divine contributions. Under this false notion, they don’t doubt and question their religious faiths, beliefs and customs. This blind faith makes people religious fanatics. It makes people intolerant and irrational in their mental outlook.
Apart from nationalism and religious fanaticism, many prejudices act as hurdles to world unity. They corrode and corrupt the mental outlook of the people. Most of the prejudices remain on account of natural physical differences that exist among human beings. Racial and colour prejudices are widespread. People belonging to the Aryan race assume that they are superior to other races. White people believe that they are superior to yellow, brown and black people. Under the influence of these prejudices, they don’t treat others as equals. These beliefs are not based on reason. These prejudices make people treat others indecently and cruelly. Denial of equal rights and opportunities spread animosity among the people. This feeling disunites people and acts as a disruptive force for the formation of world unity. So, these prejudices are unsuitable to the nuclear era.
The moral ideology that advocate human equality and universal brotherhood are noble values since they safeguard the rights of all the human beings. They preach that everyone should treat fellow human beings as equals irrespective of their race, colour, creed and nationality. They do not advocate special privileges to anyone. They condemn all forms of oppressions and exploitations. They stand for extending equal political, social and economic rights to all people.
The concepts of equality and universal brotherhood are not new to the human society. These values have been in existence since the dawn of human civilization. These values existed in a few civilised centres during pre-Christian era itself. They existed in the Indian and Chinese societies during the 5th century B.C. All the civilised religions such as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam advocate only these concepts.
Now, all of a sudden, practising the ideals of human equality and universal brotherhood has become a condition for the survival of the human society. Assimilation of those ideas will enable us to attain world unity and to function as ‘one world’ in certain matters of importance. So, the values that stress human equality and brotherhood are the right values for the nuclear age. We need to reconstruct human society afresh based on the principles of human equality and universal brotherhood.
Philosophers say that we have achieved spectacular progress in science and technology during the last three centuries. Likewise, we can also make gigantic strides in social control, bringing our destructive weapons within the orbit of a world authority. As a prelude, we need to restructure the human society based on equality and universal brotherhood. Effecting these changes is within our means. We need to fight for that ideal with undiscouraged faith and grim tenacity. We can win.
Wisdom asserts emphatically that human society can thrive and prosper only if it functions as ‘one world’. We can achieve this goal by changing all our values basing them on human equality and universal brotherhood.