UNIFICATION THOUGHT: PHILOSOPHY AND IDEOLOGY FOR THE COMING NEW CULTURE CENTERED ON GOD
THE URGENT INTELLECTUAL TASK: A NEW IDEOLOGY BASED ON THEISM AND THE UNIVERSAL VALUES COMMON TO ALL THE WORLD'S MAJOR RELIGIONS
IN REVEREND MOON'S WORDS: Unification Thought is "A new view of life, a new view of the world, universe and the providence of history that has never before existed. It is also a principle of integration that can encompass the whole into one unity, while at the same time preserving the individual characteristics of all religious doctrines and philosophies."
He explained further, "God's truth is sent to earth as revelation given through certain providential persons. God's truth is the absolute truth, which is an almighty key capable of solving any problem, no matter how difficult it may be. I have encountered the living God through a lifetime of prayer and meditation, and have been given this absolute truth. Its remarkable contents clarify all the secrets hidden behind the entire universe, behind human life and behind human history."
One of the most urgent tasks of these times of conflict between religions iis the establishment of a universal philosophy and an ideological system based on theism and universal values common to all religions.
WHAT IS UNIFICATION THOUGHT?:
Unification Thought is the philosophical systematization of the Divine Principle received as revelation by Reverend Moon and systematized by his early disciple, Dr. San Hun Lee, It is a philosophical theory covering the questions of being, logic, cognition, value, art, history, and practice. It assumes theological nature in that it deals with the attributes of God, creation, providence, etc. It offers a theory of standards for solving actual problems, a reform theory which is aimed at restoration to the original world, a complementary theory which recognizes the truth in existing philosophies and theologies, a theory for cultural revolution which provides the basis for the culture of the Kingdom of Heaven, and a true liberation theory which aims to liberate all humankind from Satan and thus to liberate God.
As Dr. Lee has said, "Unification Thought begins with God in its logical development. That is to say, this thought system starts with the theory of the attributes of God and the theory of His creation. Thus, the first premise in the establishment of Unification Thought is the clarification of the attributes of God. The second premise is the creation of the universe, and the third premise is creation according to the law of resemblance. The reason why these three points are chosen as the premises for its logical development is that Unification Thought is revealed for the salvation of mankind through the settlement of actual problems."
Faith and Reason: Unification Thought is a philosophy that is meant to be practically applied; it intends to provide the ideological basis for a global society in which true love (unselfish living for others) is the way of life and all actual problems of the individual and society can be solved. However, does the fact that it is based on God mean that accepting Unification Thought is a matter of faith? According to Dr. Lee, it does not. UnificationThought is scientifically tenable. Two major hypotheses in its ontology, the Theory of the Original Image, are verified by scientific observation. These are that God is the harmonious Subject of the dual characteristics of Sung Sang and Hyung Sang and of the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin. Since all things created according to the Law of Resemblance resemble God, they should reflect these two types of dual characteristics of God. By examining the characteristics of human beings, animals, plants and minerals, these hypotheses are verified. Thus, it need not be a matter of faith to accept Unification Thought.
Unification Thought is a comprehensive philosophical system. It begins with the Theory of the Original Image, an understanding of the nature and characteristics of God, the creator of the universe. This theory states that God's central aspect is "Shim Jung" or heart, the source of love, and that God's purpose in creating was to produce joy through love. Secondly, one section of Ontology deals with all created things except human beings, and another (the Theory of Original Human Nature) deals with human beings.
According to Unification Thought, all things were created to be the object partners of humankind with the purpose of producing joy. Human beings were created in the image of God, as God's children with eternal spiritual life, to exercise loving dominion over all creation and to be object partners of love to God. (Note: the term "object" in Unification Thought does not refer only to things, but may also refer to human beings) These three theories form the root from which all other theories are developed, namely Axiology, Epistemology, Logic, Education, Ethics, Art, and History.
Unification Epistemology deals with issues of cognition (its origin, object, and method), while Unification Logic complements the insufficiencies of traditional logics. Axiology, the theory of values, provides the foundation for the theories of Education, Ethics, and Art, which correspond to the values of truth, goodness, and beauty, which are sought by the three functions of mind: intellect, will, and emotion, respectively.
The Theory of Education proposes three types of education, of heart, norm, and intellect, which correspond to God's three blessings in Genesis 1:28 (to be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion). The Theory of Ethics states that the most fundamental ethical system is the God-centered family. The Theory of Art details the elements of beauty, the conditions for creative work, and the conditions for appreciation. And, finally, the Theory of History shows God's providence of restoration working in history through the laws of creation and restoration.
Thus, Unification Thought is a system which provides the basis for a new culture, the culture of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
The contents of Unification Thought encompass Ontology, the Theory of the Original Human Nature, Epistemology, Axiology, Ethics, the Theory of History, Logic, Pedagogy, and the Theory of Arts. Since Ontology is the most fundamental theory of the Unification Thought, it is dealt with in comparatively greater detail.
As a theistic system, Unification Thought assumes creation by God and the action of Divine Providence in the process of human history. It finds the ultimate cause of today's social chaos and international disputes at the beginning of history. It attempts to solve the various realistic problems in a new dimension by recognizing the Human Fall at the beginning of history, the action of the Divine Providence in the process of human history, and the responsibility of people to inaugurate a new, ideal God-centered world.