2005-9-12 11:40:00My Friends,
I received this letter about the principles of Unification. I thought I would share it with you. Please note my comments afterwards.
Dear Mr. Dewey,
I agree strongly with the thought behind your 16 Principles of Unification, and as I read your introduction to them I anticipated that I would be adding my name to the list of endorsements. Unfortunately, upon reading the Principles themselves I found that I could not in good conscience do so.
I wonder if you fully realize that there are millions and millions of peace-loving people in this world who do not share your belief in God or an afterlife, and that in several European and Asian countries these people are even in the majority. Many of these people, myself included, would be enthusiastic supporters of your Principles were it not for the seemingly unnecessary theological bits.
For instance, in Principle 3, surely the important thing is the belief that humanity is one family, that we are all brothers and sisters. I believe that with all my heart, but I cannot sign my name to the principle because it asserts that "God is over all mankind" and that "we are children of God."
Similarly, with Principle 4, I of course embrace the goal of peace and goodwill, of "the best possible outcome for all of humanity" -- but because I don't happen to share your belief that these goals are "the will of God," I can't endorse the principle in its entirety.
I could continue, but I'm sure you get the idea. Relatively minor changes in the wording of the 16 Principles would make them acceptable to a much wider audience. As they stand, the Principles embrace peace-seeking people with a wide range of supernatural beliefs, which is a good thing, but they exclude people like myself who are skeptical of the supernatural but seek peace simply because it is an intrinsic good. Please consider drawing a wider circle in your vision of tolerance and harmony.
Wm Jas Taiwan
My reply and comments:
I appreciate your feedback and I understand your feelings on this. I didn't like the idea of excluding the non-believers on this but saw a great danger of conflict between the religions developing in this world. In particular the problem seems centered around Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Then too, Hinduism and Buddhism is also having its problems with Islam in India.
In order to make the most potent document possible upon which the religious people could find common ground it was necessary to mention God in a fairly generic way. Since there is great overlap in the beliefs of the differing religions, this presented an opportunity to remind them that if they lived their religion that they would share many goals with all others of differing religions.
I have thought off and on about how to include non-believers. I do not think the way is to change the original document for then it would lose its potency with believers. The only way to do this is to prepare an alternative document that shares the same basic ideas of unity but does not have a wording that requires a belief in God.
I have put together an alternative version that could be presented along side the first one that should be palatable to non-believers. This keeps the basic principles but does not require a belief in God. Take a look and let me know what you think.
An proposed Alternative Version of The Principles of Unification for Non-Believers is as follows:
The original version is found at:
The Principles Of Unification.
Copyright © 2005 by J J Dewey, All Rights Reserved