Religion is a hunger for beauty and love and glory. It is wonder and the mystery and majesty, passion and ecstasy. It is emotion as well as mind, feeling as well as knowing, the subjective as well as the objective. It is the heart soaring to heights the head alone will never know; the apprehension of meanings science alone will never find; the awareness of values ethics alone will never reveal. It is the human spirit yearning for, and finding, something infinitely greater than itself which it calls God.
As knowledge with regard to the effects of food upon man increases, it is more than conceivable that the races that first avail themselves of the new values of nutrition may decrease the handicaps of disease, lengthen their lives, and so become the leaders of the future.
Man is going to evolve. It is our destiny. As in any evolution, parts of us will die in order for other parts to be born. Choosing at each moment the feelings, attitudes and values - acceptance, cooperation, caring, loving, forgiving - that will be the building blocks of the emerging reality is what it means to choose to evolve. At each moment we can choose to behave as natives of this new reality and co-creators in our evolution.
Every pupil you have carries in his mind or heart or conscience a bit of you. Your influence, your example, your ideas and values keep marching on - how far into the future and into what realms of our spacious universe you will never know.
When we say that law ‘embodies’ values we are talking metaphorically. What does it mean? Values are only ‘embodied’ in law in the sense that and to the extent that human beings approve of the laws they have because of the state of affairs they are supposed to secure, being states of affairs which are on some ground deemed just or otherwise good. This need not be articulated at all.
Farmers now are members of a capital-intensive industry that values good bookwork more than backwork. so several times a year almost every farmer must seek operating credit from the college fellow in the white shirt and tie - in effect, asking financial permission to work hard on his own land.
The fundamental rights, like the right to existence and life; the right to personal freedom or to conduct one’s own life as master of oneself and of one’s acts, responsible for them before God and the law of the community; the right to the pursuit of the perfection of moral and rational human life; the right to keep one’s body whole; the right to private ownership of material goods, which is a safeguard of the liberties of the individual; the right to marry according to one’s choice and to raise a family which will be assured of the liberties due it; the right of association, the respect for human dignity in each individual, whether or not he represents an economic value for society - all these rights are rooted in the vocation of the person (a spiritual and free agent) to the order of absolute values and to a destiny superior to time.
We define religion as the assumption that life has meaning. Religion, or lack of it, is shown not in some intellectual or verbal formulations but in one's total orientation to life. Religion is whatever the individual takes to be his ultimate concern. One's religious attitude is to be found at that point where he has conviction that there are values in human existence worth living and dying for.
We have lose the habit of thinking quietly, of trying to know ourselves and our friends, and the world around us, and the God who is above and within us. We are looking in the wrong places for happiness. We are so exclusively occupied with material things and with their accumulation that the higher values are crowded out.
One of the greatest failures of our contemporary training of teachers is that they become mere technicians... They do not learn the beliefs and motives and values for the sake of which the classroom exists.
Prize not thyself by what thou hast, but by what thou art; he that values a jewel by its golden frame, or a book by its silver clasps, or a man by his vast estate, errs.
It required the Great Depression to open the eyes of the American people to the economic, cultural, social, political, and spiritual values inherent in a great democracy. For this I am thankful. As a distinctly finite being, man learns only through tragic experiences. Progress and Pain are Siamese twins.
In all real prayer there are two persons interacting with each other: God and the finite mind. The individual is meeting the conditions for finding God, and God is finding the opportunity to enter into a kind of relationship with the individual otherwise not possible. For in prayer at its best both God and man meet, both to foster the creation of new values in and through each other and to enjoy mutual fellowship for its own sake.
Risk taking only makes sense when you have a core set of values that do not change.
In order to live we must decide on one course of action rather than another, moment by moment. We declare our values and take our stands in both small ways and large. Were we to admit that we are never certain that we have chosen correctly, and never reassured that this chosen course was the correct course of action, then we would be open to the unending exploration and revision in our way of living. We would have learned to put our prejudices and assumptions, our convictions and beliefs at risk.
Peace of mind is the greatest asset we can have for happy, healthy living. This is an inner victory which only comes from knowing God intimately. Then the material things of life do not both us any longer - we live in a spiritual world, and spiritual values are the only real values in life.
The ultimate test of religious values is nothing psychological, nothing definable in terms of how it happens, but something ethical, definable only in terms of what is attained.
Modern secularity has offered another way of dealing with religious pluralism. As religious traditions lose their importance as means of self-understanding and community identification, their differences and mutual exclusiveness diminish in importance. Alienation from any particular religious faith tends to move the question of religious particularity into the realm of indifference, as life is determined by nonreligious values and institutions. Yet secularity has been no more successful in establishing human community than has the religious vision. The competing claims of nationalism, economic imperialism, and ideological triumphalism are also demonic forms of particularity that have not been able to establish a new universality in human community.
The things in our civilization we most prize are not of ourselves. They exist by grace of the doings and sufferings of the continuous human community in which we are a link. Ours is the responsibility of conserving, transmitting, rectifying and expanding the heritage of values we have received, that those who come after us may receive it more solid and secure, more widely accessible and more generously shared that we have received it. Here are all the elements for a religious faith that shall not be confined to sect, class or race. Such a faith has always been implicitly the common faith of mankind.
It is the inner values by which men live that give meaning to life.