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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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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Introduction, Overview

The essence of Moral Innovations

Moral Innovations leverage history to highlight how humanity has evolved on earth over time.  We can learn to recognize how Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese behaviors evolve and take actions that hopefully will make this world a better place.

No single person can change humanity overnight.  It took over 5,000 years to reach 7 billion humans on earth when terrorism and suicide bombers create tensions after a century of world wars that took the lives of millions of humans. Moral Innovators know this trend is unsustainable.  No law written by humans can be 100% effective.  No religion can be universally accepted.  Guns and advanced weaponry deliver short term advantages, sustain conflict and will not deliver harmony among humans over time.  We must respect the existence and rights of others who may have different values than we do.  Our common thread is morality, guided by the Golden Rule:  Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

The Golden Rule does not feed us.  None of us could survive our childhood without some source(s) of food that usually come from our parents.  Some of us achieve sustainable livelihood earlier than others, but none of us can thrive without tools to generate income to support our lifestyles that usually require a good education, followed by the work that we do and/or innovations/improvements we deliver.  Education is not an entitlement, and unless we have rich inheritances, what we do with our education dictates the lifestyle we can afford.

Our lifespan is short, most likely less than 100 years.  We have only 30-40 years between completing our education and reaching retirement.  The objective of Moral Innovations is to educate humanity so we can optimize our productive years.  What you actually do is entirely up to you, but the circle of life guides us to educate our children for a better tomorrow.

Thrive with knowledge of your place in the world.  Do the right things and make it better.

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Barack Obama may be a Moral Innovator

On February 5th, 2015, Barack Obama attended a National Prayers Breakfast. Several articles have accused him of not being a Christian as a result. The reason? His speech includes historical references to amoral activities under the name of God, specifically the Crusades, Inquisitions, Jim Crow laws, etc. Faith can not be abused or distorted to promote violence.

Said the President at the breakfast: “We should assume humbly that we’re confused and don’t always know what we’re doing and we’re staggering and stumbling towards [God], and have some humility in that process.”

That is a breakthrough for Moral Innovators. We thrive with knowledge of our place in the world. We do the right things and make it better.

Be open minded to listen and learn, act with Golden Rule, and a Moral Innovator is born.

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Introduction, Overview

Why we need to incubate Moral Innovators

44-231 million humans died due to wars and conflicts in the 20th century, while 1 billion (or 15% of all) humans living below the poverty line barely survive and sometimes die for their families. 4 billion or 60% of humans follow guidance from Islam or Christianity. However, Muslims’ interpreted message from the Koran is to send non-Muslims to eternal hell, and Christians’ interpreted message from the Bible is to send non-Christians to eternal hell. To avoid all of us being condemned to eternal hell even though 3 billion or 40% of humans do not follow Islam or Christianity, Martin Luther King Jr. & Mahatma Gandhi appealed to our morality with the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

The Golden Rule does not feed us. Our hard work contributes to our nation’s economic output and GDP is a reflection of our standard of living. For more than 1800 years, China had one of the world’s highest standard of living, with 35% of the Global GDP (GGDP) in the year 1820. USA’s share of GGDP between the years 1950 to 2001 was 32% to 35%, even as globalization (e.g. Japan produced cars in USA) made GGDP % less meaningful after China’s open economy started in 1978. This shift between 1820 and 1950 was driven by innovations. Christian-led industrialization included cannons and government-backed monopolies that focused on profit and often ignored moral foundations by, for example, forcing opium import into China to take >70,000 tons of gold and silver. Japan ravaged and looted Asian neighbors during Second World War when convicted war criminals forced prostitution, tested chemical weapons on humans, and massacred up to 300,000 unarmed civilians in a 40-day siege of Nanjing, China.

Innovate with the Golden Rule defines a Moral Innovations framework that requires knowledge through education. In today’s internet world, we have data that take time to convert into knowledge. USA’s Common Core based education system does not address our students’ decline in performance on a global scale. Educators have shown, through decades of international students in graduate schools, that we increase innovations when we study together. While there are already significant numbers of international students in our best graduate schools, we have seen more international undergraduates in the last 10 years, and starting to see high growth of international secondary school students in the USA.

USA’s share of GGDP has declined 12% points from 32% to 20% in the last 13 years and China has a strong economy again. The American Dream is alive and well, and USA still attracts plenty of students who aspire to become part of this Dream. Over time, international students can globalize this Dream.

Our appeal to morality in corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship initiatives have yet to reach (Malcolm Gladwell’s) tipping point. We have innovators turned philanthropists like Bill Gates who left a legacy of monopolistic business practices at Microsoft. We also have an increasing wealth gap partly due to the focus on short term profit from innovations that encourage moral short-cuts such as illicit drugs and the OPEC oligopolistic cartel. When motivated students and future role models stop the focus on maximizing short term profit, billions more of us can have hope and constructive dreams.

This is a call to donors, investors, contributors and followers who want to build a community of Moral Innovators that incubates and mentors future change leaders. Moral Innovation (MI) Club is the proposed incubator that follows the Golden Rule and helps motivated international students learn with disadvantaged students, supported by a community of mentors. MI Club is a long term, sustainable approach that gives us hope and increases our chances to realize our dreams. A community of Moral Innovators can change the world.

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Introduction

Who are Moral Innovators?

Moral Innovators thrive with knowledge of who we are in the world.  We do the right things to improve our world.

Knowledge, in this context, starts with faith or a belief, but must be confirmed with truths before we gain knowledge.  This does not mean faith is bad.  In fact, faith always precedes knowledge and usually helps us establish moral boundaries.  In a religious context, your faith is your personal relationship with God which cannot be questioned.  Care must be taken in your faith only when there are institutions of faith that interpret faith for you.  That’s when we need truths before we gain knowledge.  In Christianity, a clear example is the Jewish Exodus.  The Bible that we read today says there were at least hundreds of thousands of humans crossing the desert.  However, there has not been archaeological evidence to support this exodus.  Until we find the truths, we can either take the Bible as a fictional storybook or be mindful of this lack of evidence until the truth emerges.  All major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc.) started with oral faith through stories that eventually were documented by believers.  The earliest writing we know today includes Sumerian clay cuneiforms which may have survived by being the sources of stories in Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). In China, written history started with symbols and knots on strings for counting well before the written language emerged.  The Chinese documents have also been destroyed along the way.  In all, we do not have credible written history longer than about 3,000 years.

We have to work hard to gain knowledge because the process requires experience.  None of us has knowledge at birth.  We started with curiosity which accumulates faiths or beliefs, before our experiences give us truths that turn our faiths/beliefs into knowledge.  The harder we work, the more likely that we may gain more knowledge (but it is not a guarantee).  For the very poor and the very rich humans, working hard has very different meanings.  Most very poor humans rely on faiths/beliefs, while most of the very rich (especially the children) have distorted impressions of hard work.  There are rare exceptions like Buddha who started off as a prince but elected to live an ascetic life for most of his life.  All major religions started with more very poor believers than the very rich because hope is a motivator to hard work, and religions give us hope.

We improve the world by working hard and know the details of our areas of interests.  No human being can make improvements without knowledge.  However, the improvements can mean improving yourselves, without improve the lives of others.  Dominican Friar Bartolome de las Casas (1484-1566) has been recognized as a pioneer of Universal Human Rights after he himself participated in the abuse of the Native Americans under the Spanish Encomienda laws.  His proposal (which he rescinded prior to his death) was to transport slaves from Africa to the Americas.  Stanford University Emeritus Professor Sylvia Wynter saw las Casas as the reason a young 18-year-old Charles V of Spain granted permission to bring the first 4,000 African slaves to Jamaica in 1518.

That is where the universal golden rule comes in: 

Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

Once we succeed following this golden rule, we are Moral Innovators.

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