Click above, for articles
in this issue.
closed doors, there is no guarantee that the most basic of individual freedoms
will be preserved. And as we enter the 21st century, the great fear we
have for our democracy is the enveloping culture of government secrecy and the
corresponding distrust of government that follows."
Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Rob
U.S. Senate Report, 'Secrecy in
International and Domestic Policy Making: the case for more
on morality: Franklin's 13
still a young man in his 20's, Benjamin Franklin devised a plan to become a
virtuous man. That plan was worked and refined throughout Franklin's
life. These thoughts he carried with him in a 'little black book' as a
reminder to him of that to which he aspired to achieve, and also as a form of
diary, where he recorded important thoughts.
book, Poor Richard, Franklin implies that virtue is an end in itself
which leads to a happier life; "Deny self for self's sake."
As Franklin thought, success in life is not possible without
morality. Although his 'moral plan' underscores the notion of human
weakness, it nonetheless evokes the importance of the will. The
following 'moral plan' is taken from Franklin's
· Eat not to dullness;
drink not to elevation.
· Speak not but what
may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
· Let all things have
their places; let each part of your business have its time.
· Resolve to perform
what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
· Make no expense but
to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing.
· Lose no time; be
always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary
· Use no harmful
deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak
· Wrong none by doing
injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
· Avoid extremes;
forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
· Tolerate no
uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
· Be not disturbed at
trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
· Rarely use venery
but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your
own or another's peace or reputation.
· Imitate Jesus and
why I am not a
· "...I think all the
great religions of the world--Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and
Communism--both untrue and harmful. It is evident as a matter of logic
that since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true. With very
few exceptions, the religion which a man accepts is that of the community in
which he lives, which makes it obvious that the influence of environment is what
has led him to accept the religion in question...
· Apart from logical
cogency, there is something a little odd about the ethical valuations of those
who think that an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent Deity, after preparing
the ground by many millions of years of lifeless nebulae, would consider Himself
adequately rewarded by the final emergence of Hitler and Stalin and the
· We are sometimes
told that only fanaticism can make a social group effective. I think this
is totally contrary to the lessons of history... The world that I should wish to
see would be one freed from the virulence of group hostilities and capable of
realizing that happiness for all is to be derived rather from co-operation than
from strife. I should wish to see a world in which education aimed at
mental freedom rather than imprisoning the minds of the young in a rigid armor
of dogma calculated to protect them through life against the shafts of impartial
evidence. The world needs open hearts and open minds, and it is not
through rigid systems, whether old or new, that these can be
Bertrand Russell, from the Preface of "Why I am
Not a Christian". Russell, a British philosopher, taught at UCLA, Harvard,
and the University of Chicago. A life-long pacifist, he was awarded the
Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.
Posted November 1,
You are here: HOME page-OLDER ISSUES-NOVEMBER 2004 -Words of Inspiration
Previous : Recommended Reading Next : Editorial Page