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War in Ukraine: Antithesis of Morality

I have published a book and established a website dedicated to moral issues and our connection to a spiritual final cause.

An Unthinkable War

Just a few weeks ago, it was unthinkable that a war would break out on European soil in the 21st century. The brutal invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army has proven most experts wrong. War brings into question our ability to learn from the past history of such wars, which brought incalculable devastation to tens of millions of people and turned the world order upside down. We may have thought that in this age of globalization and integrated communication, the rise of psychopathic despots such as Stalin and Hitler were not possible. Nuclear armaments insured reciprocal annihilation and therefore a kind of balance of terror that no one would dare to challenge. This complacent viewpoint has been crushed by one man and his coterie of cronies who saw this as a weakness that could be exploited to expand their territorial ambitions and self-aggrandizement. On a higher moral level, ignorance once again prevailed over wisdom.

We have to ask ourselves if this highest manifestation of violence can be in any way morally justified for one side or the other. The unprovoked Russian invasion and Ukraine’s resistance is a solid example of morally justified action by the latter. It is connected to the preservation of basic freedom, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which underpins all morally inclined societies. The Ukrainians were left with no other alternative because all diplomatic initiatives had been exhausted. Russia, on the other hand, is following in the footsteps of nations who, through massive disinformation, manipulated the truth to serve their goals in order to gain power over others. This is a story that is echoed loudly throughout human history where right succumbs to might.

Avoiding Wars Using Love-Driven Morality

War is violence played out on a much larger scale with enormous physical and psychological repercussions. Our challenge as humans is to move to higher a spiritual evolutionary ground that embraces love-driven morality as the foundation for all our actions. All nations are composed of individuals with higher and lower levels of spiritual wisdom. Unfortunately, it is often the ruthless and amoral members of society that are allowed to rise to the top. In a democratic society, we can prevent this by choosing leaders who have a proven record of upholding the highest ethical and moral standards. In despotic governments, it is the challenge of evolved individuals to oppose the autocrats by providing the truth in some way and form. Soviet-era dissidents showed the way through their Samizdat publications that ultimately helped bring down a repressive Soviet regime. In today’s high-tech information environment, there are many more tools at our disposal to organize a moral opposition and gain instant access to a much broader global audience.

Moral opposition to violent solutions should start with peaceful resistance, through diplomacy and moral persuasion. By standing up for our principles, we make gains in spiritual wisdom as individuals, nations and as citizens of this planet. This may call for the sacrifice of lives as it now does in Ukraine and other war zones. In the larger scheme of things, wars offer a chance to recognize the harm that they cause and reinforce our moral fortifications by incorporating them into our laws and treaties.

The Balance of Terror

The build-up of armaments of mass destruction in the 20th and 21st centuries to create a balance of terror required a huge amount of funding. How much better our lives would have been if this vast wealth would have been used for more enlightened purposes. We have to embrace other means to secure everyone’s safety. The answer lies not in building ever more sophisticated systems of mass destruction. We would be much better served by a more active and dedicated promotion of peace and harmony in the global community.

We must realize that we are all united to the intelligent and loving energy of Eternal Light. By recognizing this connection, love-driven morality then becomes the lynchpin of all human interactions. At times, it may appear that not much progress is achieved and we are mired in ignorance. In the case of armaments, the military-industrial complex continues to thrive and is supported by governments of different political persuasions all over the world. There appears to be no way to exit from the pursuit of super weapons to gain advantage over other nations aligned in opposing ideological camps. Seeing ourselves as equal citizens of this planet seems but a wishful thought. However, our true, love-driven nature possesses the corrective tools to pry us away from the abyss. By understanding that the purpose of each human life is to advance the degree of love in all its derivatives offers the initiative for eventual moral triumph.

The Road to Redemption

Democracies with their inherent respect for human rights, freedom, and pursuit of happiness still provide the best platform for moral redemption. Democracy has been tarnished recently by the rise of populists who preach intolerance and use disinformation to achieve their goals. Our moral compass should become more finely attuned to reject those who lead us away from fundamental democratic principles. There are definitely many faults that can be attributed to existing democratically elected governments. Corruption is not restricted solely to authoritarian regimes. But it continues to provide the most fertile ground for spiritual growth because of its tolerance for the freedom of expression.

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Totalitarian regimes contradict the principles of love-driven morality. They repress the freedoms that democracy provides and are almost solely concerned with preserving power by any means at their disposal. It sets them against the purpose of life, which is to express Eternal Light’s love. The ultimate solution to lasting world peace starts at the individual level. It is within everyone’s capability to overcome the spiritual ignorance that produces anger, and violence. In a democracy, we can choose leaders who are driven by more enlightened moral principles that lead to the creation of egalitarian, inclusive, and mutually supportive societies. The current war in Ukraine provides another lesson in how the unthinkable can happen when we remain complacent and take no preemptive action to counter the forces of moral ignorance.

war-the-antithesis-of-morality

Art Depicts the Horrors of War

The picture above was painted by Andrij Humeniuk in 1989 during the Russian dominated era of the Soviet Union. Andrij is a well-known artist from the city of Lviv in Ukraine. The picture poignantly depicts the terrorized feeling of Ukrainians under the thumb of Russians and the systematic destruction of everything that is held sacred. There are echoes of Picasso’s 1937 famous antiwar Guernica painting.

Andrij put his artistic career on hold in 2014 after the occupation of Crimea and joined the Ukrainian army. He is currently on the frontlines of the battle for Ukraine’s survival against the brutal Russian invasion.

The Road to Redemption

Democracies with their inherent respect for human rights, freedom, and pursuit of happiness still provide the best platform for moral redemption. Democracy has been tarnished recently by the rise of populists who preach intolerance and use disinformation to achieve their goals. Our moral compass should become more finely attuned to reject those who lead us away from fundamental democratic principles. There are definitely many faults that can be attributed to existing democratically elected governments. Corruption is not restricted solely to authoritarian regimes. But it continues to provide the most fertile ground for spiritual growth because of its tolerance for the freedom of expression.

Totalitarian regimes contradict the principles of love-driven morality. They repress the freedoms that democracy provides and are almost solely concerned with preserving power by any means at their disposal. It sets them against the purpose of life, which is to express Eternal Light’s love. The ultimate solution to lasting world peace starts at the individual level. It is within everyone’s capability to overcome the spiritual ignorance that produces anger, and violence. In a democracy, we can choose leaders who are driven by more enlightened moral principles that lead to the creation of egalitarian, inclusive, and mutually supportive societies. The current war in Ukraine provides another lesson in how the unthinkable can happen when we remain complacent and take no preemptive action to counter the forces of moral ignorance.

References

The Morality of War: A Review and Research Agenda by Hanne M. Watkins, first published January 31, 2020

The Morality of War and Law, essay by Jeff McMahan, February 9, 2008.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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