The Words of the Walsh Family

Outside View: New Global Peace Initiative, Part II

Thomas G. Walsh
Published September 28, 2005
UPI Oustside View Commentator

TARRYTOWN, N.Y -- On Sept. 12 at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, in New York City, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon announced the launch of a new global institution, called the Universal Peace Federation. The federation is dedicated to renewal of the United Nations and the establishment of a new standard of global leadership for peace. Dr. Moon is also the founder of News World Communications Inc., that owns UPI and publishes World Peace Herald.

We may have to go back to 1945, and the aftermath of World War II, to find a comparably bold initiative. This speaks to the conviction and determination of Dr. Moon, who considers that we stand literally on the threshold of an entirely new era of peace.

This is the second of three articles. To read the first article in the series, go to:

II. What is needed

Most fundamentally, any truly global institution must be built on a secure foundation that takes into account the full potential of the human being, not only as a political, economic, and social being, but also as a spiritual being with spiritual needs and a capacity for spiritual wisdom and insight. That is, we must have an integrated view of the human being, a view that does not extract one aspect of human nature and, on that foundation, construct a vision of peace. Our vision of peace must be comprehensive, and any institution we establish to build a world of peace must be comprehensive in the same way.

While spirituality has been rejected by some intellectual traditions of modernity, most notably naturalistic science, and materialistic philosophies and ideologies, these worldviews are themselves limited and lacking in a capacity to arrive at either ultimate truth or practical wisdom. Suffice it to say that the history of science and methodological atheism has not led to either peace or prosperity. Selfishness continues to thrive.

What is actually needed is an integrated worldview that is appreciative of both the human being's capacity for rational reflection and our capacity for spiritual awakening. The legacy of the world's great saints, prophets, sages and spiritual leaders cannot be denied or discounted without ignoring what is most fundamental about the human being. This applies also to the United Nations.

For this reason, Dr. Moon has been advocating that the United Nations, for its own survival and effectiveness, build an interreligious council within its system. He has held that the current structure, dominated by political self-interest, represents an inferior expression of humanity's potential. In order to enhance the United Nations, there needs to be inclusion of those who represent the highest expressions of humanity's vision of peace, and the moral and spiritual principles that are necessary if peace is to be achieved. To conceive a world of peace, and to imagine establishing that world without the benefit of the wisdom of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Buddha, Confucius is simply immature. But more importantly it is ill-fated. This must change.

Of course religion itself also has to change. In too many ways the history of religion has been marked by narrow sectarianism, strife, and competitive struggle with other faiths, all to the detriment of the cherished goals and teachings of the founders and scriptures. This cannot continue. The need to eliminate corruption, selfishness, and bad governance applies not only to the United Nations and its member states, but also to the world's religions.

For this reason, the UPF advocates an interreligious and international approach to peace, seeking to forge cooperative partnerships between governments and religions, as well as NGOs and representatives of the private sector. The UPF seeks to be God-centered, and advocates the core principle of living for the sake of others.

The era of selfish individualism will decline, as will nations that are guided solely by the principle of national self-interest. Peace will not come through the pursuit of self-interest. Self-interest alone will only produce conflict, competition, and disharmony. And yet, a world without God cannot generate an ethic of unselfishness. Without God, we are alone in a world of standards we ourselves set, and these standards are ever changeable, depending on the circumstances. Standards rooted in divine reality are unchanging and absolute. In this sense, spiritual principles are very similar to natural laws.

This is the second of three articles.

Dr. Thomas G. Walsh is secretary-general of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace.

United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of World Peace Herald or United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.

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