Innovators World

Moral Innovator perspectives on Christianity #1

On this the 15th anniversary of 9/11 attack, let’s take a deep breath and reflect upon what happened.

Christianity includes Orthodox, Catholic and various sects of Protestants.  There were three Christian breakthroughs from a Moral Innovator perspective:

  1. The formation that started 2,000 years ago
  2. The split between Orthodox and Catholics 1,000 years ago
  3. The split between Catholics and Protestants 500 years ago

Let’s only focus on the formation or the first breakthrough here.  There will be future discussions on #2 and #3 which will address the divergence of moral values within Christianity.  Unless we know the key differences of moral values that drove the schisms, we will not understand Christianity which is followed by a minority of humans (~35% of 7+ billion humans).  After we get to know Christianity, we can compare the moral values of Muslims who follow Islamic values; Indians who follow primarily but not exclusively henotheists (which is different than polytheists) values; and Chinese who follow primarily but not exclusively atheist values.  Over 90% of humanity today is represented by Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese.  Once we appreciate their moral values, we can begin to address how we can develop a more peaceful homologous world together.  In this globalized world we live today, we cannot effectively address global peace and harmony if we only have Christian values.

To address the formation of Christianity 2,000 years ago, let’s look back more than 2,000 years ago in the western part of Middle East and Europe (primarily Turkey, Greece and Rome).  Please remember this geography does not represent the world, as there were the eastern part of Middle East (including Sumer) and all of Asia, Africa, Americas, etc.  The expansion of the Christian world beyond western part of Middle East and Europe happened primarily within the last 500 years, which will be addressed in the third breakthrough between Catholics and Protestants.  Search for Moral Innovators perspectives on Christianity #3 which has not yet available in September 2016.

For a lot more than 2,000 years,we have been curious about what happens before our birth and after we die.  Sumerians have stories like the arrival of Annunaki people from the Nibiru planet 400,000 years ago, and Egyptians left different versions of “Book of the Dead” which correlated to the times of mummification. A lot more can be introduced through the Chinese invisible “Qi” that occupies the universe and the myth of Pangu descended from heaven, or the Indian concept of “Karma” and reincarnation.  The existence of “Qi” may have been proven through the recent discovery of “Dark Matters” that occupy an estimated 27% of energy and matter in our universe.

Focusing on the formation of Christianity 2,000 years ago, there were two communities of humans whose values focused on the spirit or soul outside the body.  These were the Therapeutae people living mostly in Alexandria, Egypt, and Essenes people living mostly in Palestine.  We know the Essenes much better today as the community that gave us the Dead Sea Scrolls we are studying today.  These communities believed in their own spirits which thrived in a polytheistic world they lived at that time.

There are at least three modes of persuasion to prove the existence of an unknown spirit or soul.

  1. Ethos rely on credibility and reputation (which is far more difficult to apply to a new concept),
  2. Pathos rely on emotions (which defies reasoning and not sustainable over time), and
  3. Logos rely on logical deduction (which was popular with the likes of Socrates and Plato).

Clearly, the Greek influence supported the logos approach which had to be based on mythology.  For example, the mythological King Minos, whose civilization in Crete paralleled that of Egypt, was believed to be a son of Greek God named Zeus (whose womanizing behavior and the number of children he sired parallel that of a cult leader today), took the Zeus tribute to a higher level when seven boys and seven girls from Athens were thrown as food to feed King Minos’ pet Minotaur, a terrible monster, that lived in a labyrinth.  One of the boys from Athens was a prince named Theseus who, supported by the daughter of King Minos named Ariadne, managed to kill the Minotaur and saved future Athenian children.

This is an illustrative example of righteousness overcoming tyranny when humans interpret what is the proper tribute to this spiritual being (or God) before the time of Jesus, or the beginning of Christianity.

The Bible is the most referenced source document and the foundation of Christianity.  It is estimated that Jesus preached for only three years before he was crucified, and his main message was along the line of “love thy neighbor.”  There are four gospels in the New Testament, but only one (Book of John) mentioned the Lazarus miracle where Jesus raised a human named Lazarus of Bethany from the dead, four days after his death.  It is shocking that the bedrock of Christianity is based on how Jesus came back from the dead to live for 40 days, yet three of the four gospels failed to mention the Lazarus miracle.  Bart Ehrman also published multiple books about how Christians made Jesus a God through the trinity (also known as consubstantial or homoousios) after his death through interpretations of the Bible.

To make Jesus who he is today, all the spirits and souls of mankind must be concentrated to Jesus alone.  Communities like Essenes and the later and larger group of people named Gnostics had to be declared heretics in order for the Logos mode of persuasion to work.  That is what happened, and followers like Paul took Christianity away from the location of only Jerusalem to establish churches as places of worship outside Jerusalem.  Augustine reinforced the need to go to church by strengthening the belief in The Original Sin that requires prospective believers to go to a nearby church and cleanse their souls.

After 2,000 years of Christianity, we are still following this Logos that force us to take extreme positions, like only Christians can get to heaven, and non-Christians go to hell.  Christians are asked to believe the Bible cannot contain errors, and the Catholic Pope is infallible.  We must change our mentality from this perception of perfection towards a Moral Innovators’ view of continuous improvement.  Otherwise, Bible’s armageddon is a self-fulfilled prophecy.

Stay tuned for how Christianity faced major schisms 1,000 years and 500 years ago.

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Introduction, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator perspectives on heaven and hell

The root cause of what we observe in the form of increasing violence can be associated with the message from both Muslims and Christians regarding heaven and hell.  It is far more important to focus on our moral living on earth then imagining what happens after we die.

Whether we start millions of years ago as hominids or hundreds of thousands of years ago as modern humans, the concept of heaven or hell is relatively new.  The four ancient civilizations five thousand years ago focused on elaborate burials.  The Chinese and the Indians both focused on living moral lives (Confucius was quoted as saying we don’t know enough about our living so don’t worry about what happens after we die.  Karma is an Indian concept of accumulating moral brownie points while living in order to be reincarnated into a “better” life until we reach perfection.)  Egyptians spent a lot of time dreaming about eternal life and was among the first to document their beliefs in “The Book of the Dead” but they focused more on mummification and elaborate burials.

Iranian prophet Zoroaster (generally believed to have lived between 3,000-4,000 years ago) introduced the concept of a soul walking across a bridge 3-4 days after death.  If a soul can cross this bridge, eternal heaven is waiting.  Eternal hell awaits a soul that falls off this bridge.  Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) started out in a quiet Sheol during the equivalent of purgatory prior to judgment day.  It was probably too boring to have such an uneventful place called Sheol so Abrahamic religions became more and more descriptive of heaven and hell.

Today, Christians and Muslims preach paths to a glamourous heaven reserved only for believers or despicable hell for non-believers.  The most memorable line from the movie “The Vertical Limit” was the script that explicitly said all of humanity would go to hell under these conditions.  Not only would all Chinese and Indians be condemned to hell because they are neither Christians nor Muslims, all Christians are condemned to hell by Muslims, and all Muslims are condemned to hell by Christians.

The Moral Innovator motto is:  Thrive with knowledge of your places in the world.  Do the right things and make it better.  Please follow The Golden Rule and focus on your morally innovative behavior during your lifetimes.  You will get what you deserve when you die.  Heaven does not take reservations.

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diversity, Introduction, Opportunity, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator proposal for changing the world – one child at a time

We are clearly seeing increasing violence both domestically within the USA and worldwide these days. While the call for peace and calm can help get these incidents out of the immediate news headlines, we need a sustainable morally innovative solution that can take several generations if adults elect to work together, or several centuries if we collectively focus on educating our children.

Today, about one third of humanity follows the Christian faith.  This trend started over 500 years ago when the corrupt Spanish Pope Alexander VI declared that Spain and Portugal owned the world outside Europe in the Tordesillas Treaty.  The first ones to contest this declaration were other European Christians who innovatively created the corrupt State-sponsored Dutch East India Company and the even more corrupt British East India Company to gather resources needed to industrialize the world.  We know, for example, it was the British government who gave monopoly power to the British East India Company that produced opium in India and sold the illicit drugs into China (and almost bankrupted the Chinese economy).  The immoral Japanese military also helped take over 70,000 tons of silver out of China through illegal distribution of opium.

Another 20% of humanity today follows the Muslim faith, and Islam is the world’s fastest growing faith.  Since the first OPEC price increase in 1973, our newly industrialized world developed an insatiable appetite for fossil fuel, and an average US$2 trillion dollars per year have been transferred to Muslims each year.  Each time we fill up our car with fuel, or turn on the air conditioner anywhere in the world, we contribute to the demand for fossil fuel and eventually maintain or sustain the status quo that transfers wealth to the Muslims.  Another impact is global climate change which is a by-product of our industrialization and exasperates the fact that we are 20,000 years into the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle of global warming today.

On a global scale, our most severe conflict has been driven by the Christians’ and Muslims’ efforts to convert all humans.  Unless we create a way that allow humans to believe in both Christianity and Islam, there is no way humanity can have peace when two significant faiths strive to convert the entire humanity into one faith.  Within this framework, the declaration of independence by Israel in 1948 was like introducing a spark in a fuel tank.  While the role (and population) of Israel has been similar to Hong Kong for the British Protestant Christians during the opium war, USA has added plenty of oxygen to the spark in a fuel tank when President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq that spread the conflict between Christians and Muslims like forest fires.

Now is not the time to double down on our faith without reason.  We need to let our children thrive with knowledge of their places in the world in order to make the right decisions and make the world better.  Let us not baptize our infant children nor declare heaven belongs exclusively to any one faith,  claimed by both Christians and Muslims.  There is an alternative sustainable path to peace.

What is that alternative path?  We start with a very difficult challenge to understand and morally develop the age-appropriate motivations of our children.  In order to invoke the motivation hierarchy introduced by Abraham Maslow last century in a measurable way, let us try to map humanity into Maslow’s hierarchical layers of needs measured by wealth of humans.  We know that money cannot buy happiness, so these numbers should be modified by non-financial parameters:

  1. Two billion (~30%) humans on earth living below poverty. The number one focus for these two billion humans is to secure food for survival.  This is Maslow’s physiological layer.
  2. Five billion (~70%) humans seek safety through employment, police/fire protection, access to health care, investments, among other things. This is Maslow’s safety layer.
  3. Twelve million (~0.1%) millionaires living on earth seek friendship and family, among other things. This is Maslow’s love/belonging layer.
  4. 2,000 billionaires seek respect, confidence and achievements, among other things. This is Maslow’s esteem layer.  Donald Trump wants the US Presidency to try to excel in this layer.
  5. Essentially no one is free of prejudice and take actions based on facts, possibly except the Gates Foundation supported by Warren Buffet. This is Maslow’s self-actualization layer.

These layers cut across all humanity (including Christians and Muslims) and exist everywhere on earth, including the USA, the largest economy on earth.  Trying to separate African Americans and Caucasian Americans will not work.  It is not a matter of “Black Lives Matter Too” versus “All Lives Matter.”  We need hope and opportunities that differ among humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.

No line can be drawn for humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.  However, we can provide opportunities for our children living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy to seek their aspirations through education.  As long as our children learn the universally accepted Golden Rule (do unto others what you want others to do unto you) and believe there is hope to achieve their aspirations, we gain trust to respect our second amendment rights to bear arms, while reducing violence between police and citizens.  By adding moral innovations to the education curriculum, indiscriminate shootings in school will decline when our children and adults have the Golden Rule in mind.

Changes should be visible when we add the Moral Innovations framework into our education curriculum, including the Golden Rule.  Please encourage our children to do the right things as they thrive with knowledge of their places in the world.

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diversity, Opportunity, Overview

Focus on Opportunity when we mention diversity

Our business school professors and investment advisors teach us to diversify stocks in a portfolio to reduce risks.  The justification is higher profit for risked adjusted diverse portfolios.  How do we apply this concept to social sciences?

As a nation of immigrants, USA has a diverse population from South America, Asia, Africa and Europe with different moral values and faith within each ethnic community.  Over 150 years ago, the unspoken goal of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was to provide more opportunities for slaves.  Looking globally over time, the unwritten problem of India’s caste system has been the concrete barrier among the castes where anyone born within a caste like “soldiers” can never be anything else but soldiers of different ranks.  The fatal problem of communism has been the complete annihilation of economic incentives where no one wanted to hard work (and therefore evolved into Socialism where limited private economic ownership is allowed).  Today, we are still fighting for equal opportunity, with the underlying belief that our diversity delivers greater value than other countries around the world.

Within the USA today, we are divided by our emotions around “black lives matter” versus “all lives matter.”  We have bigger issues with our constitutionally protected right to bear arms and our ability to identify (mentally ill) terrorists to draw lines that cannot be drawn (and if drawn, cannot be enforced by law enforcement agencies).

Remove our emotions, and we find ourselves trapped heading in the wrong direction.  We are increasing our spending trillions of dollar every year increasing security at airports, police regional conflicts around the world, and build bigger law enforcement agencies.  For the next 4-8 years, our commander-in-chief is a choice between:  1) a follower of eugenics like Hitler who, as an offspring of immigrants himself, wants to build walls to exclude immigrants; and 2) an extremely careless career politician with a cheating husband.  How can we sustain our global leadership status with these choices?

To take advantage of our greater value of diversity, we need to know possible paths, or at least hope, to provide opportunities.  We cannot deny white males opportunities which the court has guided us in cases such as the Bakke reverse discrimination case in 1979, or deny Caucasians to become mayor of Washington DC where a majority of the population is African Americans.  Let us acknowledge Native American rights have been violated for centuries and help them address the alcohol addiction problem with jobs.  We have gone beyond our borders when we celebrate Columbus Day when Columbus never landed in the USA, or remember the Jewish Holocaust in a DC Museum when the holocaust did not happen in the USA.  It is time to address issues that did happen within the USA.  If we want to fight for fair trade or universal human rights across the globe, we should first have fair treatment of Americans within our borders.  Our law enforcement agencies cannot be effective without the support of the people within the communities they serve.  Our teachers cannot be effective if they do not teach our children 80% or more of the Native American population was annihilated within 200 years of the arrival of the Caucasians.  We should know that the population of Africa remained flat for 250 years between 1600 and 1850 when the population of the rest of the world more than doubled because millions of healthy male Africans were captured and sold into slavery around the world.  USA would not have industrialized without slaves because the cotton gin revolution required slave laborers to succeed.  Russia succeeded in industrialization when Stalin forced famine upon Ukraine and other parts of their economy.  China learned to focus on the power of the market economy to avoid a repeat of trying true Communism through their Cultural Revolution.  India is finding out democracy is the worst form of government, except there are none better.

Our children can learn and establish their own moral values, and our value of diversity will re-emerge.  This is not a political game.  We learn from each other, and the result will be fewer emotional outbursts that involve guns and deaths.  Ultimately, when we deliver opportunities for everyone to do what they want within our moral innovation framework, we will have harmonious societies.  Where do we find these communities?  Look at our schools:  There has been harmony at the graduate school level where American and foreign students have studied together for many decades.  Within the last decade, foreign students have increased significantly at the undergraduate level and within the last 5 years, at the high school level.  When we promote global education instead of concepts like “axis of evil,” we have opportunities to achieve harmony.  Don’t expect that building walls at the Mexican border or sending more military advisors into Afghanistan or Iraq will solve problems.  Global education is one of many sustainable action steps to reverse our current course of self-destruction.  Education that delivers opportunities for comfortable living/lifestyles is blind to bias and rewards hard work.  By expanding education at various levels,  we can also deliver hope to homeless veterans and poverty stricken victims who are more likely to be converted by extremists and candidates for suicide bombers.

Think “opportunities” when we talk about diversity which, by itself, cannot deliver harmony. 

 

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Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovators perspectives on Hope

Globalization is a fact of life today. Country borders can no longer sustain a separation of humans by citizenship when laws cannot be comprehensively applied on a consistent basis. Humanity, as a whole, is pursuing more extreme measures to achieve short term goals that will lead to self-destruction.

Followers of abrahamic religions (Jews, Christians and Muslims) are waiting for the coming of a savior after most humans kill each other. Chinese and Indians continue to focus within their regional civilizations, with China branching out to focus on global trade to accumulate wealth (i.e. not conquest) by repeating the silk road with one belt one road. To the Chinese, the only humans on earth are Chinese. Everyone else are ghosts. The size of China attracts global attention. Japan’s efforts since 1987 to build territorial coast lines by claiming tiny reef rocks near Okinotori in the Philippine Sea is left unnoticed.

To change course from these self-fulfilling prophecies of destruction, let us thrive with knowledge of our places in the world. We need to do the right things to make our world better, not imposing views onto others with threats of destruction or hell. For thousands of years, Chinese and Indians live moral lives so they can re-incarnate into higher forms of living. These are internally focused, not imposing views onto others. Iranian prophet Zoroaster predates the Old Testament in the pursuit of monotheism that evolved through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The reliance on spirituality (which cannot be seen as a mental, not physical, force) drove evangelism, imposing views onto others to self-aggrandize faith.

Morality must not be imposed onto our children. Unfortunately, there is no curriculum that teaches morality to our children. Almost all of our children learn morality from parents and/or through faith. Christian Catholics baptize their babies right after birth, while Christian Protestants have started to evangelize Bible as a perfect document despite its inherent inconsistencies. Muslim umma discourages followers from leaving the faith under the penalty of death. Chinese and Indians discipline their children to teach them values that, for example, have led to the reputation of “tiger mom.” In other words, our children grow up with morality imposed upon them.

One way to introduce morality to our children is to illustrate morality through history. Let us highlight the immoral Opium Wars against China, or the American destruction of Native American civilizations accompanied by African slavery. USA would not have industrialized as fast without slaves, and Europe would not have advanced as fast without the 70,000 tons of silver taken from China by force and opium.
Let us also introduce both evolution and creation to our children. Encourage them to explore their own values. Some will pursue faith, and some will follow evolution for their own reasons. Hope supported by motivation will likely emerge as a common objective for all humans. For the 1-2 billions of starving humans today, their hope is any path to fill their stomachs. The major challenge is to encourage constructive hope based on opportunities, not faith based destructive suicide bomber mentality. For the majority of the remaining 5-6 billion humans, hope can guide us towards moral behavior, especially if introduced at an early age and collectively reinforced by a moderate (not extreme) level of faith. Prayer can be constructive, as long as we donot blindly follow faith, and we continue to work hard.

This blog is also to celebrate my child who is named “hope.”

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovators perspectives on Diversity and Race Relations

How do we define terms like diversity and race relations today? As a former member of the Fortune 500 company’s Diversity Committee and a reviewer of Princeton University’s Prize in Race Relations for over 10 years, it is becoming clear that these terms mean equal opportunity, independent of race.

Often, race is defined by physical characteristics like skin color. A group with more people of various skin colors is considered diverse. In fact, Moral Innovators know that 95% of humanity evolved from the values introduced by Confucius in China, Ashoka in India, and Socrates among Christians and Muslims around 2,500 years ago. These values have been influenced by cultures, languages, and other factors, but they are race-blind, and together, they have oppressed women for thousands of years. While we talk about Donald Trump and his incitement of violence and hatred today, the consequences of such behavior is not related to race. We have seen white people beating up on blacks, and black people beating up on whites within the confines of Trump events alone. In a strange way, we may have started to realize the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose vision was “we are not judged by the color of our skin, but the content of our character.”

President Barrack Obama, as the first African American US President, has made Race Relations worse, not better, after eight years of his Presidency. The Democratic Party is no longer focused on the working class as evidenced by his lack of action on the Estate Tax which has decreased from 77% in 1977 to 40% that Obama did not change in the last eight years – meaning the rich elites do not have to work as hard to legally preserve their wealth from generation to generation. Who is carrying the core message of the working class? Donald Trump and his message to get jobs back to the USA and exclude immigrants. Trump’s key message reminds us of the Immigration Restriction League that was founded by three Harvard graduates in 1894 to build a superior American race. The Wharton School, where Trump graduated, was also home to James Young, the Director of the Wharton School and a member of the Immigration Restriction League.

How do we see through this maze? Focus on two things:
1. Economic opportunities to sustain our quality of life, and
2. Hope to reach/realize these economic opportunities now or through our children.
Neither of these two things mention the word “race.”

It is critical that as few of us give up on our hopes as possible, because giving up on hope annihilates rational thinking, and concepts like suicide bombers under the name of God begin to make sense. Adolf Hitler was first democratically elected by rejecting to pay for 1919 Treaty of Versailles as part of the end of World War I. To sustain Hitler’s popular support, and probably referencing information available in the USA, Hitler gave Germans the hope that a master race can be created by murdering the inferior Jews that resulted in the Holocaust. The word that describes the creation of a superior group of people is called eugenics.

In the 1920s, before the rise of Hitler, eugenics was taught in 276 university courses in the USA and part of the college curriculum studied by over 20,000 college students. Mentally and physically handicapped babies were murdered and mothers sterilized to preserve a healthy population in the USA, and the State of Virginia did not repeal the Sterilization Law until 1974. An estimated 70,000 individuals, mostly African and Native Americans, were sterilized without the patients’ consent or coerced at the risk of losing welfare benefits. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People promoted eugenics in “Better Baby” contests. This means the USA was a clear violator of human rights within our lifetime. The fact that USA has been a human rights violator makes it difficult to impose such universal human rights worldwide today.

With hope, we can apply the Moral Innovation framework to balance continuous improvements with morality that drives economic opportunities for all. Costco is an example of a company that committed to not making more than 15% profit on its products supported by a reasonably paid workforce, and WeatherTech promotes US laser technology for competitive automotive accessories. China has many economic opportunities and is focusing on morality in the form of anti-corruption to deliver hope for equal opportunities. Meanwhile, China is paying the price of progress with the extremely poor environmental quality that have long term consequences after lifting the largest number of humans from poverty in the last 60 years. Until India fully addresses the removal of the caste system, there will be very little equal economic opportunities for progress.

In summary, Moral Innovators know that diversity and race relations give us hope for equal economic opportunities to thrive during our lifetimes.

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Uncategorized

Morality before religion

In this holiday season, let us reflect upon our priorities as we enter 2016.

More than 2,000 years ago, humanity was exposed to the concept of morality through Socrates, Ashoka, and Confucius. Then came someone named Jesus Christ, well before the arrival of Allah’s messenger Mohammad and the Sikh Guru. We continue to grow our faiths through confederations like Shinto and focus groups like Mormon, including today’s ISIL…

History has shown that we learn the concept of right and wrong first through the concept of morality, and with morality as our foundation, choose the religion that aligns with our moral beliefs. We should have the freedom to choose as we grow into responsible adults.
What we are doing today is backwards. We baptize infants before they learn the concepts associated with morality, and often learn morality from our faith and associated teachings such as the bible or quran. 
Let us focus on educating our children with morality first, and let our children decide their own faith associated with what they believe is right.  Imposing a religion before our children learn morality leads us to believe that the Bible is perfect, the Pope is infallible, and suicide bombers can be justified.

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