Continung on from September's article, Dr Miguel Cano Jiménez expands on his explanation of the need for an ethics education for peace.

A peaceful and silent revolution

All external measures aimed at achieving world peace — whether they are social, cultural, political, institutional, legislative or economic reforms at the local, national or global level — are very valuable and necessary, but alone they are insufficient to achieve a stable and lasting peace, since they do not eliminate the root causes of conflicts and violence found within individuals and families.

In fact, in order to achieve an authentic world peace that will put an end to the most hidden causes of conflicts and wars, a profound moral reform or transformation of the individual and family would be necessary. This transformation would have to be carried out by means of an ethical education and the responsible efforts of individuals.

The goal should be that most people reach an individual maturity or inner peace, and that peace and family harmony reign in the majority of families. In this way, social, national and international peace would be ensured.

Sun Myung Moon explains that humanity can never achieve world peace without inner peace within individuals and peaceful and harmonious families.

Men desire peace not only on the world level, but on the level of nations, societies and families as well. Even individuals yearn for peace between their minds and bodies.

Of these various levels of peace, which should be established first? It is easy to think that if world peace were achieved first, then on that basis the peace of nations, societies, families and eventually individuals would also follow, but this is the wrong viewpoint.

Actually, the reverse of this sequence is necessary to establish peace. Individual peace must come first. Then, familial peace can soon follow, and only on that foundation can we hope for the peace of societies, nations and the world. This is because individuals are the basic units of families and families are the basic units of societies and nations.

Frequently, leaders believe that through outstanding organization and superior thought they could restore both the social order and world peace. In reality, however, mankind can never find peace through these two means alone.[1]

In the Declaration of a Global Ethic, written by Hans Küng and approved in the Parliament of World Religions held in Chicago in 1993, a similar conclusion is reached:

That with laws, regulations and conventions alone, a better world order cannot be created, much less imposed;

That the achievement of peace and justice and the preservation of the earth depend on the attitude and the willingness of human beings to enforce the law;

That commitment to law and freedom presupposes a prior awareness of the responsibilities and obligations and that it is therefore necessary to appeal to human beings in their minds and hearts;

That law without ethics has no consistency at all, and consequently, without a global ethic is not possible a new world order. (...)

In conclusion, we appeal to all the inhabitants of this Planet: our earth cannot change for the better without changing the mentality of the individual. We advocate a change of individual and collective consciousness, for an awakening of our spiritual forces through reflection, meditation, prayer and positive thinking, for the conversion of the heart.

Therefore, we commit ourselves to a common global ethic, a better mutual understanding and forms of life socially conciliatory, peace promoters and nature lovers.[2]

Education is the fundamental means for building a culture of peace

Article 6 of the draft Declaration on the Culture of Peace, prepared by the United Nations on the occasion of the year 2000 events, states: « Education is the fundamental means for building a culture of peace. »

According to Kant:

It is through good education that all the good in the world arises. For this the germs which lie hidden in man need only to be more and more developed; for the rudiments of evil are not to be found in the natural disposition of man. [3]

And Aranguren advised us of the following:

It is necessary to move the center of our concerns from political to social, on the one hand, and to the personal on the other. The salvation of peoples, as human beings, is personal rather than political. And moral education... — education so neglected by our educators — is one of the great tasks to be accomplished.[4]

Miguel Angel Cano Jiménez

Author: Miguel Angel Cano Jiménez

Philosopher, teacher and author of numerous books about peace education

Dr Miguel Cano has a PhD in Philosophy and Educational Sciences and has taught philosophy for 15 years in a Senior High School in Spain. He has published 3 Books in Spanish language: “Science and Values”, “Global Ethics Consensus”  and “Ethics and Peace”. He is currently in the process of translating them into the English language. He also organizes meetings with professors and educators in Spain to teach them the contents of his books.

[1] Sun Myung Moon, Speech Collection Books, Seoul, HSA-UWC, 110:249, (November 27, 1980).

[2] Küng, H., Hacia una ética mundial, Trotta, Madrid, 1994, pp. 23-37.

[3] Kant, On Education, Heath & co. Publishers, Boston, USA, 1900, p. 15

[4] José Luis Aranguren, Ética, Alianza Universidad, Madrid, 1990, p. 273.

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