HYDERABAD DECLARATION OF INTERNATIONAL PHILOSOPHERS FOR PEACE AND THE PREVENTION OF NUCLEAR OMNICIDE (IPPPNO) JANUARY, 2014
Meeting in India, under the aegis of the Grand Global Peace Meet, as International Philosophers for Peace from Europe, Russia and the Americas, we have determined to call our philosophical colleagues and the general public around the world to the witness of IPPNO to the possibility of peace through dialogue and rational research.
We urge our philosophical colleagues in all cultures, religions and geographical and national and linguistic contexts, to bear witness to the possibility of a peaceful human culture and civilisation based on reason, and the love of wisdom, and to use education, research and scholarship to resolve disputes rather than force and violence.
We are mindful of the current conflicts going on worldwide which involve loss of life, whther in civil conflicts, or ongoing terrorist incidents such as the recent shooting of satirical journalists in Paris, the murder of schoolchildren in Pakistan and Nigeria and beheadings and fighting in Syria and Iraq and all such like events. We ask that all responsible intellectuals worldwide to show leadership in isolating and exposing the intellectual flaws in all ideologies that propose violence as an appropriate strategy for resolving ideological and religious differences. Each religions tradition on the planet ultimately recognises that the powers of reason, enlightenment and love have sovereignty over those of violent rhetoric, forceful persuasion and coercive intimidation. Instead of using terror to bully and frighten other believers, we urge that common dialogues take place involving evidence, logic, reason and the submission of ultimate truth claims to the test of philosophical analysis.
We urge our fellow human beings to choose to live in a world where study, research, learning, respect for wisdom, and love of truth replace the egocentric promotion of one’s own cultural values and epistemic absolutisms.
We urge each culture, nation and region of earth to recognise, value and appreciate its own and others’ philosophical systems and teachings. We urge that philosophical education be included in both secondary and tertiary educational curricula, as being conducive to creating future generation who value morality and philosophical wisdom as much as techne and know-how. We commend UNESCO’s recommendations on philosophical education.
Cultures of philosophy have arisen in difficult times in man’s past: the golden age of Greek philosophical enlightenment arose in the midst of wars; the Confucian and Taoist sages arose during the era of Warring States; Hindu, Buddhist and Jain enlightenment teachings have arisen against a backdrop of continual wars and conflicts. The great philosophical achievements of Jewish, Christian and Islamic thought have likewise carried on in spite of a backdrop of warfare and violence. The European enlightenment was born out of a continent sick of bloodshed, and the 30 years’ war, in which thinkers and philosophers articulated the ideals of universal and perpetual peace as a prospect for man’s historical progression from barbarism to a society based on the exercise of civic reason.
After the tragedies of World War One and World War Two, the globe is still bedevilled by international, intercultural and interreligious conflicts and violence. As officers of International Philosophers for Peace (IIPPPNO) we are issuing a call for our philosophical colleagues in Syria, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Ukraine and Russia, Afghanistan, and Kashmir, to come together in a spirt of intense inquiry towards truth, and to submit the rival claims of political factions, religious perspectives, and social movements, to the court of reason. We believe it is possible that the disputes effecting these countries and territories can be analysed, rationally and historically, and that in all conflicts there needs to be a recommitment to moderation, compromise and intellectual humility. By intensive education in the causes and consequences of such conflicts, by requiring religious and political leaders to themselves submit to educational processes, by conducting intensive training work in non-violent communication and dialogue, and by applying good will and imaginal intelligence we strongly believe these conflicts can be resolved harmoniously.
International Philosophers for Peace pledges to work with any and all philosophical colleagues, factions, traditions, lineages and instruments, in order to replace ongoing violence and conflict with philosophical dialogue, dialectic and intellectual discourse. Instead of firing bullets, let us fire off pamphlets, instead of dropping bombs, let us drop bombshells of reason, instead of sending torpedoes, let us issue wholesale barrages of enlightenment and love against all who say that violence is the answer, and that war and terror and unreason are the new deities who should now be worshipped. Let us find new structural political solutions to the problems of the world, such as by strengthening the UN and by exploring alternatives such as the World Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Earth’s problems are interconnected (human rights, environment, poverty, militarism, religious fanaticism, corruption, violence) therefore we need joined-up solutions that can address these problems holistically.
We denounce the idolatry of violence, even if masked by a veil of pseudo-piety. We denounce all who invoke the name of the Sublime as a justification for acts of grotesque cruelty and barbarism, and we insist instead that mankind learn to worship again with an actually justifiable piety in a way in which both reason and faith can be reconciled, and in which our humanity, our doubts, our hesitancies, are not seen as evidence of spiritual weakness, but rather, in the Socratic sense, as evidence of spiritual strength.
Concretely, we call on the educational authorities in all regions to include deeper philosophical and ethical content in their curriculums. Let children and young minds be adorned and beautified by their initiation into the great philosophical heritage of mankind, across all cultural, linguistic and spiritual traditions. The 9 petalled flower of peace can only arise once such seeds of wisdom are implanted early in the mind of today’s youth, so that tomorrow’s elders shall not weep in sorrow as they patrol the graves of the as yet unborn.
We recognise that philosophy, as the love of wisdom, manifests in many spheres of knowledge and action, including political philosophy, social philosophy, economic, environment, legal, aesthetic, psychological, historical, religious and scientific philosophy. We encourage all who work in these diverse branches of philosophy to consider how their work can best contribute to the advancement of a world of peace. Philosophy itself has many sub-divisions, such as metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, phenomenology, etc. and we encourage all who work in these interconneted fields of philosophical knowledge to consider how their work can best advance the case of peace.
Likewise, to the many social scientists, experts and researchers working in branches of peace studies and conflict research, investigating fields such as conflict resolution, conflict analysis, non-violence, peace research etc. we urge that they also include the philosophical dimensions and implications of their research, and make the fruits and findings of their pioneering research available to the general educated public in ways they can make us of.
For philosophy is too important to be left simply to the philosophers: artists, musicians, poets, writers, teachers, cultural figures, politicians, photographers, film-makers, novelists, scientists, web-designers, technological innovators, inventors, home-makers, parents, students, psychotherapists, medical doctors, economists, business leaders, engineers, dancers, satirists, comedians, celebrities… all have a role to play in co-creating a world in which the love of wisdom is valued, and philosophical reason, enlightenment, subtlety of mind and intellectual power, and beauty of spiritual attainments, are esteemed and appreciated more than sheer strength or power, might, violence and killing force. As representatives of International Philosophers for Peace therefore we pledge to collaborate with all groups, NGO’s, and agencies that will cooperate with us in advancing the application of philosophical and dialectical intelligence to the civic and social violence currently affecting the planet in numerous regions.
We also remind colleagues that IIPPNO was founded in 1983 at a time in recent history when a third world nuclear war seemed a not impossible prospect to many minds, and IPPNO played an important role in defusing tensions by arranging pioneering East-West philosophical intellectual diplomacy that helped end the cold war in Europe in 1990. But we remind colleagues that nuclear weapons remain a scourge on the planet, and are proliferating, and remain a threat to the long term security of humanity through accidental, environmental and medical negative impacts as long as they remain in military arsenals around the world as a weapon of last resort. We commend the current work of international legal bodies to strengthen the existing findings of the International Court of Justice, that nuclear weapons are essentially illegal under international law, and we urge all nations worldwide without exception to significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals simultaneously by a general and universal commitment to nuclear disarmament involving all possessor nations without exception. This will free up financial resources for peacemaking.
Finally, we also urge all philosophers, at whatever level of their professional development, whether serving in education, academia or research contexts, to affiliate their work with that of International Philosophers for Peace and to join our organisation in its efforts to concentrate minds on the serious task of articulating and devising a comprehensive philosophical approach to conflict resolution, mediation, reconciliation and peace worldwide.
Co-Signed: Dr Thomas Clough Daffern (International Coordinator, International Philosophers for Peace, UK)
Prof Alexander Chumakov (Russian Coordinator, International Philosophers for Peace, Moscow, Russia)
Prof Glen T Martin (International President, International Philosophers for Peace, USA)