Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: Episode 208
Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: A Selection of True Parents’ Speeches
Book 5: Absolute Values and New World Order
Speech 8: Absolute Value Perspective, pg 739-743
The lack of an ontology regarding the Absolute Being
Of these five causes, the last one, the lack of adequate ontology, is the most significant. By ontology, I mean the theory of Absolute Being. Each religion has an Absolute Being as a basis for its theory. The Absolute Being of Judaism is Jehovah; that of Christianity, God; and of Islam, Allah. Generally, no Absolute Being is specified in Confucianism or Buddhism. However, “benevolence,” which is the basis of teaching in Confucianism, is linked directly with heaven; therefore, “heaven” may be seen as taking the place of the Absolute Being in Confucianism. In Buddhism, phenomena are transient; truth, however, can be discovered from jinyo, which lies behind all phenomena. Thus, jinyo may function as an Absolute Being in Buddhism.
However, the explanations of all these Absolute Beings have been consistently deficient on such issues as the characteristics of the Absolute Being, the manner of creation of things, and the motivation for creation—or whether God or an Absolute Being exists at all. Each religion has been uniquely unclear on these points, and therefore unclear about the basis for all religious virtues. Thus, religion today has little persuasive power.
In order for the virtues, precepts, commandments and teachings of all religions to be appropriately honored, we need to have enough knowledge about the existence of the Absolute Being, the characteristics of this Being, the purpose for which this Being created things, and so on. In early times, people were not so analytical or theoretical, and thus were willing to blindly obey such commandments as, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” or, “Be loyal to the king and filial to your parents.” Today, however, such maxims are questioned. The unfailing response to a “Thou shalt” is, “Why?” Unless and until these questions are answered, the teachings remain unconvincing.
Such fundamental questions as, “Does God really exist?” are raised. There are challenges to descriptions of God as “almighty,” “omnipotent,” “omnipresent” and “Father of humankind,” and to such ideas as utmost goodness, utmost beauty, utmost love or absolute justice. Other fundamental questions include: Is there any way of knowing or proving any of these claims? Why did God create a universe when He does not have to do anything? What is His purpose for creating? By what method did He create all things? If God is of utmost goodness, why do strong-eat-weak phenomena prevail in His creation? It is being taught that the world became sinful because of the Fall, but how did the creation of a perfect God become capable of falling?”
These are but a few examples of the numerous questions that are raised. Unless reasonable and consistent answers are available and given, today’s intellectuals are not willing to accept religions such as Christianity. Thus, most religious commandments remain unpracticed, and much of the Christian teaching of universal love, the Confucian code of family morals, the Buddhist code of conduct, and the Islamic teachings of the Qur’an are generally ignored or even rejected. The basic reason for the ambiguity of ontology is that in recent years Europe, which has historically been the cradle of Christianity, has given rise to materialism and atheism. We can cite the examples of Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Nietzsche, who were all raised in Christian families but turned atheist and anti-Christian.
Even more lamentable is the fact that the very religions that were supposed to serve as the leading element of the human spirit and as the leading mediators between conflicts are themselves becoming the reasons for conflict, further diminishing religious dignity and authority. For example, there are clashes between Judaism and Islam, conflicts between Catholicism and Protestantism, and contradictions between Christianity and Buddhism. Even within a single religion, there are disputes among different denominations.
The fundamental reason for these religious antagonisms is ambiguity in the area of ontology. There is only one Absolute Being, not two, but when each religion advocates its own concept of the Absolute Being as the true one, it may seem that there could be many different Absolute Beings. This leads to the view that the god of each religion is only a god of relative status, and that there is really no such thing as an Absolute Being.
Here we can see that, although the absolute value perspective related to God’s love and truth was to be enhanced through religions, it has not been developed. It has remained relative instead of absolute. In other words, we can conclude that religion until today has been incapable of establishing the absolute value perspective that can dispel the prevailing confusion. This is the inevitable result of all religions having been unable to explain the Absolute Being clearly.
We can logically say that, under these circumstances, if an absolute value perspective is to be established, a new religion needs to emerge, with an ontology that can clearly and accurately explain the unique, absolute God.
We have said that because all religions are founded by God, their purpose has been to realize absolute value. However, when we observe that so much religious conflict prevails, we can confidently state that the god of each of the existing religions cannot be understood as the absolute God, and therefore the absolute value perspective cannot be established by these religions. Therefore, we conclude that a new religion needs to emerge for the sake of establishing the absolute value perspective.
A new religion and a new ontology
The ontology of the new religion needs to make it clear that the Absolute Beings of the various religions are not separate gods but are one and the same God. Since each religion has revealed only a part of God, making that part its religious perspective, the new ontology should make it clear that a complete revelation of God will show that all religions originated from the same God and pursue the same purposes, being like brothers. Furthermore, by explaining God’s characteristics, His motivation for creating, and the purpose and rules of creation, the new ontology needs to explain that purpose and law control the motion of all things in the universe. In addition, it has to show that the norms by which we humans should live spring from that same purpose and law, namely, the heavenly way.
The relationships between the sun, moon, planets and stars involve heavenly patterns of vertical and horizontal interactions. Likewise, in the family there are vertical relationships, such as between grandparents, parents and children, and there are horizontal relationships, such as between brothers and sisters. There are value perspectives corresponding to each of these relationships.
In explaining things, this new ontology should not contradict the knowledge that has become available through the natural sciences. At the same time, it needs to be in accord with the human conscience, and it needs to be in resonance with historical maxims such as, “Those who follow the heavenly way prosper, and those who go against it perish.”
The value perspective established through the new ontology is in the truest sense the absolute value perspective. By establishing, understanding and practicing absolute love, absolute truth, absolute goodness and absolute beauty, a new reformation of the human spirit will be accomplished and the confusion of the world will be dispelled.
After the new ontology clarifies our understanding of God, and after it is shown that there is one unique God common to all religions, each religion can retain its own name. In effect, however, the unity of all religions will have been accomplished, and all will be able to move forward together for the realization of heaven on earth, which is God’s ideal of creation.
The new ontology will remedy all the deficiencies and unresolved issues in religious doctrines, and that will eventually lead to the unity of all doctrines. In this manner, all religions will perfectly attain God’s very goal or purpose for establishing religions on earth.
The Unification Church has emerged to solve various problems by presenting the absolute value perspective. This value perspective can resolve the great confusion in the world. The Unification Church offers a comprehensive, logical and reasonable system of thought. Its teachings, known as the Unification Principle and Unification Thought, have the power to engender complete spiritual awakening in all people of conscience and intellect.
May your continued efforts and studies during your participation in this conference deepen your understanding of the absolute value perspective, and may God’s protection remain with you always.