Definition of Ethics and Morality
As an individual truth being, each member of a family forms an internal four position foundation through the give and receive action between their mind and body or between their spirit mind and physical mind. This is an inner four position foundation. On the other hand, various outer four position foundations are formed through the give and receive action among the members of the family.
In the inner four position foundation, the spirit mind should take the subject position, and the physical mind, the object position. Since the fall of the first ancestors of humankind, however, the relationship between the spirit mind and the physical mind has been reversed. In other words, the physical mind has taken the subject position and has come to control the spirit mind. As a result, the activities related to the physical mind, that is, a life seeking food, clothing, shelter, and sex, are generally given first priority, whereas the activities pursued by the spirit mind, that is, a life seeking values, are relegated to a secondary status. This is why it has been necessary, throughout history, to make efforts to rectify the relationship between the spirit mind and the physical mind. For example, many saints and sages have emphasized the importance of living a disciplined life and have conducted training for cultivating one’s character.
In this way, human beings have been seeking the perfection of their personality as individual beings. On the other hand, on the family level, they have been making constant efforts throughout history to perfect the family, namely, to perfect the family four position foundation.
At this point, then, let me define ethics and morality. Ethics is the norm of human behavior to be observed in the family by its members. In other words, it is the norm of human behavior in family life; the norm of human behavior that is in accordance with the law of give and receive action centered on love in the family; the norm for the family four position foundation. Therefore, ethics is the norm for a connected being to follow: the norm for the perfection of the family, which is the second blessing.
On the other hand, morality is the norm of human behavior to be observed as an individual. In other words, it is the norm of human behavior in one’s individual life; the norm of human behavior that is in accordance with the law of give and receive centered on love in the individual’s inner life; the norm for the individual four position foundation. Therefore, morality is the norm for an individual truth being to follow: the norm for the perfection of one’s individuality, which is the first blessing. Consequently, ethics is an objective norm, whereas morality is a subjective norm.
Ethics and Order
Ethics is the norm of behavior of a person occupying a certain position of the family four position foundation and directed toward a certain goal―the three object partners. Needless to say, this norm of behavior is to be motivated by love.
Therefore, ethics is established in the context of a specific position and according to the order of love. This means that ethics can not be established apart from order. In a family today, however, order between parents and children, husband and wife, and brothers and sisters is often neglected or ignored. As a result, the family has become disordered or dysfunctional. This is the main cause of the collapse of social order. The family, which originally should have been the very foundation of social order, has become instead the starting point of the collapse of social order.
Order in love is closely related to order in sexual expression. Therefore, ethics is the norm for the order in love, and at the same time, the norm for the order in sexual expression. The order in sexual expression refers to the order in the sexual relationship between a man and a woman. It goes without saying that there must be order between parents and children’s couples, and also between the elder brother’s couple and the younger brother’s couple. That is to say, the younger brother must not love his elder brother’s wife sexually, and the elder brother must not love his younger brother’s wife sexually.
Today, however, the proper order in sexual behavior has largely collapsed, and random and illicit relationships between a man and a woman have become commonplace. Along with that, the collapse of ethics is rapidly accelerating. One of the primary causes of the destruction of the sexual order is the animal-like view of human beings brought about by the collapse of traditional values. Another important cause is that society is being inundated by the sensual culture of sex, brought about by the media. Today, the sense of the sacredness of sex has almost been lost, and sex has become degraded nearly beyond recognition.
This situation is not at all different from the situation in the Garden of Eden, where Eve, tempted by the Archangel, had an illicit sexual relationship with him, and as a result, the order of love and sex was shattered. What is needed today is a new view of value that can bring the family back to its original state. Such a view of value must be able to re-establish the proper order in love and the proper order in sex. This is one reason why the Unification Theory of Ethics is presented.
Ethics, Morality, and the Way of Heaven
The human being is a substantial being that integrates the universe, that is, a microcosm miniaturizing the universe, and the family is a microcosmic system miniaturizing the system of the universe. The law that interpenetrates the entire universe is the “Way of Heaven,” which is also called “reason-law.” Accordingly, the norm for family life, or ethics, is the manifestation in a miniature form of the Way of Heaven (reason-law). Therefore, the family norm is exactly the Way of Heaven within the condensed scope of the family.
Just as we can find in the universe vertical order (e.g., the moon―the earth―the sun―the center of the galaxy―the center of the universe) and horizontal order (e.g., Mercury―Venus―Earth―Mars―Jupiter―Saturn ―Uranus―Neptune―Pluto), so too, in the family we can find vertical order (e.g., grandchildren―children―parents―grandparents―great grandparents) and horizontal order (e.g., husband and wife, brothers and sisters). The various ethical virtues corresponding to such ordering are vertical virtues, such as the benevolence of grandparents and parents, and the filial piety of children, and horizontal virtues, such as the conjugal love between husband and wife, brothers and sisters’ love between brothers, between sisters, and between brother and sister.
As already mentioned, ethics is the norm which family members observe toward one another as connected beings. On the other hand, morality is the norm of behavior for an individual to observe as an individual truth being. Morality also correlates with the law of the universe, or the Way of Heaven. Every heavenly body in the universe exists in a certain position, forming an inner four position foundation through the harmonious give and receive action between the subject and object elements within it. By the same token, internally within a human being, harmonious give and receive action must be made between the spirit mind and the physical mind, thus forming an inner four position foundation. The norm of behavior in forming this inner four position foundation is morality. Therefore, morality is also in accord with the Way of Heaven. Needless to say, the give and receive action between the spirit mind and the physical mind must be centered on God’s Heart and the purpose of creation. Moral virtues include such virtues as purity, honesty, righteousness, temperance, courage, wisdom, self-control, endurance, independence, self-help, fairness, diligence, innocence, and so on.
Social Ethics as an Extension of Family Ethics
From the perspective of Unification Thought, human relationships in the wider society are simply an extension of the relationships carried out among family members at home. For example, in relationships where people’s ages differ by thirty years or so, the senior individual should love the younger person as their child, and the younger individual should respect the senior individual as their parent. If the difference in age is ten years or less, the elder person should love the younger person as a younger brother or sister, and the younger person should respect the elder person as an elder brother or sister.
From this viewpoint, family ethics is the basis of all ethics. If family ethics is applied to society, it becomes social ethics; if applied to corporations, it becomes corporate ethics; if applied to the state, it becomes state ethics.
Accordingly, the following values (virtues) come to be established. In a country, the president and public officials should love the people while standing in a parental position, and the people should respect the president and public officials in the same way as they respect their parents. In a school, teachers should educate students well while standing in the position of their parents, and students should respect their teachers in the same way as they respect their parents. In a society, senior members should care for junior members, and junior members should respect senior members. In a business organization, superiors should guide their subordinates, and subordinates should follow their superiors. These are a few examples of the social extension of the vertical values (virtues) of the family.
When the fraternal love experienced among brothers and sisters is extended to one’s colleagues, neighbors, society, nation, and the world, one should also actualize such horizontal values (virtues) as reconciliation, tolerance, obligation, fidelity, courtesy, modesty, compassion, cooperation, service, and sympathy.
Our societies, our nations, and the world today are all experiencing unprecedented chaos. The reason for this is that family ethics, which is the basis of all ethics, has become weakened. Therefore, the fundamental way of reviving society is to establish a new kind of family ethics, a new perspective on ethics. By doing so, we can progress toward saving families from collapse, and ultimately we can save the world.
It has been more than two hundred years since industrial capitalism emerged. During that entire period of time, labor-management relations have been a constant issue. It might even be said that Marx and Lenin appeared for the sole purpose of solving that particular problem, which they tried to do through their theory of violent revolution. In the end, their attempt proved to be a complete failure. Moreover, Communism is declining worldwide. It is the position of the Unification Theory of Ethics that in order to provide fundamental solutions to the problems of exploitation and labor-management problems, one must first establish corporate ethics on the basis of family ethics.