belief that ethical problems can be solved without the need for ethics. Supporters of this
idea believe that when material development has reached its peak, all ethical problems
will disappear of their own accord. According to this view, it is not necessary to train
human beings or develop the mind. This is a line of reasoning which has recently appeared
in the field of economics. Some economists say that if the economy is healthy and material
goods are in plentiful supply, there will no longer be any contention, and society will be
harmonious, This is simply saying that ethical or moral problems can be solved through
material means, without the need for ethics.
||This is not
entirely wrong. Economic situations do have a bearing on ethical problems, but it is a
mistake to look at the matter too simplistically, believing that if the economy was
healthy, ethical problems would somehow disappear of their own accord.
could be said, if somewhat facetiously, that this line of reasoning is true in one sense,
because without ethics it would be impossible for the economy to be healthy. It could be
alternatively said that if ethical practice was good (for example, people were encouraged
to be diligent, generous, prudent and to use their possessions in a way that is useful to
society), then economic problems would disappear.
statement that when the economy is good, ethical problems will not arise, is true in the
sense that before the economy can be healthy, ethical problems must be addressed.
Similarly, the statement that when ethical problems are all solved, the economy will be
healthy, is true in the sense that before ethical problems can be solved, economic
problems must also be addressed.
ethical problems' takes in a wide range of situations, including mental health and
the pursuit of happiness. Thus, the solving of ethical problems through materialistic
means must also entail dealing with moods and feelings, examples of which can be seen in
the synthesization of tranquillizers to relieve stress, worry, depression and sorrow. But
it would be a mistake to try to solve ethical problems through such means. This kind of
relief is only temporary. It only soothes the problem, it does not solve it. We may come
back to this point later on.
branches of learning would like to be recognized as definitive sciences, but the
specialist perspective causes funnel-vision, discord and in itself becomes an impediment
to true science. The specialists are incapable of being true scientists. Even physics
cannot be called true science, because it lacks completeness; its facts are piecemeal, its
truth is partial. When truth is partial, it is not the real truth. With only some of the
facts known, any deductions made are not in accordance with the total reality. The stream
of cause and effect is not seen in its entirety, so the truth remains out of reach.
two beliefs or attitudes (that is, specialization and the belief that ethical problems can
be solved through material means) pervade the Age of Industrialization. Coupled with the
two lines of reasoning previously mentioned, problems are intensified accordingly.
here initiated a course of enquiry. There may be some of you who are wondering what all
this has to do with religion. In answer I would like to say that at this point we are
beginning to approach the domain of religion. Many of the points I have mentioned so far
come within the domain of religion, but in order to see this more clearly. I would like to
retrace my steps and get onto the subject of religion itself. I have been speaking about
science, its origins and development, now let's take a look at the origin and development
of religion and try to integrate the two in some way.