NOBILITY AND CIVILITY
Globalization has become an inescapable fact of contemporary life. Some leaders, in both the East and the West, believe that human rights are culture-bound and that liberal democracy is essentially Western, inapplicable to the non-Western world. How can civilized life be preserved and issues of human rights and civil society be addressed if the material forces dominating world affairs are allowed to run blindly, uncontrolled by any cross-cultural consensus on how human values can be given effective expression and direction?
In a thoughtful meditation ranging widely over several civilizations and historical eras, Wm. Theodore de Bary argues that the concepts of leadership and public morality in the major Asian traditions offer a valuable perspective on humanizing the globalization process. Turning to the classic ideals of the Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian, and Japanese traditions, he investigates the nature of true leadership and its relation to learning, virtue, and education in human governance; the role in society of the public intellectual; and the responsibilities of those in power in creating and maintaining civil society.
De Bary recognizes that throughout history ideals have always come up against messy human complications. Still, he finds in the exploration and affirmation of common values a worthy attempt to grapple with persistent human dilemmas across the globe.
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It is truth and truth alone that both gods and seers hold in esteem , for the man
who tells the truth in this world will attain the highest abode . 12 . “ As from a
serpent do people recoil from a man who speaks falsely . Truth , it is said ...
Land , fame , glory and wealth seek out the man who holds to truth and ever
attend on him . Let a man then devote himself to truth alone . 23 . “ What you
consider the best course is in fact ignoble ; the statements you make urging me to
' do ...
Eternal truth ( tathatâ ) transcends form , but only by means of form can it be
understood . Mistakes will be made in the effort to point at the truth , for there is no
clearly defined method of teaching , but even when art does not excite admiration
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The Noble Paths of Buddha and Rama
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