Towards a global philosophy: key to peace.

Author:Singh, Karan

In the Eastern tradition, philosophy is looked upon not simply as an academic exercise like economics, political science or sociology, but as a powerful tool for enlightenment, human welfare and inner spiritual growth. This implies that philosophy must deal frontally both with the outer problems afflicting the human race as well as the universal need for each individual to move upwards on the path of spiritual awareness. It is, therefore, a matter for satisfaction that the theme of this Twenty-First World Congress is Philosophy facing world problems.

The overwhelming phenomenon that we face as we travel onwards in time is the all pervasive globalisation that is taking place in almost every field of human endeavor. As we moved through the last century, which witnessed unparallel and unimagined progress; the cruelest mass killings in human history and the most outstanding breakthroughs in human welfare; the advent of weapons of unprecedented lethality and the creative probing into outer space, we find ourselves poised at a crucial crossroads in the long and tortuous history of the human race on Planet Earth. In our own lifetimes Time has telescoped, both for better and for worse. While scientific applications have raised living standards for millions beyond all expectations, the problems of humanity have also assumed global dimensions and millions still go hungry day after day. The persistence of nuclear testing and the disposal of nuclear wastes, the dangers of global warming and the grave damage to our biosphere, the malign underworld of drugs and human trafficking, the alarming spread of communicable diseases and terrorist violence are problems which the human race shares in common.

It is now quite clear that humanity is transiting into a new kind of society, a transition even more significant than the earlier ones from caves to the forests, from forests to nomadic, pastoral, industrial and then to the post industrial society. What we are now witnessing is the transition to a global society. The future is upon us almost before we realize that the past has disappeared and we find ourselves precariously poised in a present full of challenge and change. In order to deal effectively with the problems that confront humanity, philosophy must break out of narrow confines--academic, theological or any other--and embrace in its ambit the entire human condition. To my mind there are five major attributes that are required of the new philosophy at...

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