Moscow, Russia—UPF-Russia held a webinar to introduce UPF’s International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP).
Following a series of IAAP online interviews with prominent Russian professors at the end of 2022, the webinar on January 19, 2023, served as an inauguration for the UPF association in Russia.
The event consisted of an interview conducted by Dmitry Samko, the head of the Moscow chapter of UPF, with Maria Nazarova, the president of UPF-Russia, to discuss IAAP and earlier organizations that created a foundation for it. Unification Thought, Godism and Headwing Thought were also discussed.
The recording of the webinar received 20,700 views on the Odnoklassniki Social Network, 23 live viewers on YouTube and 256 viewers on the VKontakte social network.
Question: Several interesting programs involving scientists have taken place recently within the framework of IAAP. Could we first briefly introduce the association to our listeners and viewers?
Answer: Hello, Dmitry, and participants of our webinar! I hope this program will be of interest to everyone.
The International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP) is a global, interdisciplinary academic initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable peace.
The mission statement of the IAAP says that it confirms the conviction that representatives of the academic community, as well as educators, continue to make a major contribution to the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of humankind and play a key role in building a society based on the principles of good.
The IAAP is dedicated to building professional networks for the expert community to promote world peace based on the ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.
Question: How did the IAAP come about?
Answer: The association was established in 2020 by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who is well aware of the importance of the work of scientists and educators in the name of world peace.
The participants of the World Summit conference, held by UPF in Seoul, South Korea, in February 2020 adopted a declaration on the creation of IAAP within the framework of UPF.
Conference participants confirmed that they will create programs that contribute to the improvement of academic research for the benefit of humanity; will promote the highest-quality academic publications and academic teaching; will build professional networks for scientists to promote world peace based on the ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values; and, correspondingly, will run programs that promote these goals.
It must be said that the creation of the association became possible on the basis of the work over several decades of the international congresses of the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS), as well as a number of other organizations, also founded by Dr. Moon and his wife, called to present an ideology that would be an alternative to the communist ideology. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Confederation of the Associations for the Unification of the Societies of the Americas (CAUSA).
Question: Could you say a few words about the work of these associations that laid the foundation for IAAP?
Answer: With pleasure.
First, let me say a few words about the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS).
Since the first conference in 1972 on the theme "Moral Orientation of the Sciences," ICUS has sought to steer science toward a broader and more integrated approach; an approach that encourages connections between disciplines; an approach that focuses on absolute values, that is, values that will benefit all of humanity.
The increasingly narrow specialization of modern science requires that scientists from different fields of science take part in the discussion of the development of the natural sciences in general, as well as in the search for solutions to the most complex problems.
Considering that no scientific achievement is neutral from a moral point of view, the topic of ICUS meetings often became the moral and ethical aspects of the development of the natural sciences.
More than 2,000 scientists, including more than 35 Nobel laureates, have been working constantly within the framework of ICUS. Now it is difficult to name all their names … Sir John Eccles (Nobel laureate in physiology/medicine), Eugene Wigner (physics), Willy Brandt (Peace Prize), Ilya Prigogine (chemistry) and many others.
Topics as broad as integrative concepts in the natural sciences and value aspects of scientific research have been covered, while exploring topics as diverse as the ethics of gene manipulation; the ocean and humans; as well as the organization and change of complex systems.
Let me quote the words of Sir Derek Barton, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, at the 20th ICUS conference in 1995. Perhaps they very clearly indicate the direction of these conferences: “Science itself does not take any moral position. However, scientists are well aware of the moral implications of their work. The enormous power given to man by science must be used with moral sense. The possibility that political ambitions can overcome this moral cause is a terrible danger that should unite all mankind in the campaign for peace.”
It can be said that ICUS took steps to address an important problem in science – the lack of an interdisciplinary approach and concern for values.
After all, a person has both a physical body with material desires and material feelings, and a spiritual self with spiritual desires and spiritual feelings. And the world is nothing but an extension of humans with these dual aspects. … That is why in the matter of interdisciplinary research to solve world problems, it is necessary to take into account to a large extent such factors as religion, culture, art, etc.
During its existence until the year 2000, ICUS produced a great deal of scientific literature, including numerous papers, 16 subject books, and hundreds of peer-reviewed and new research papers. Despite the variety of topics covered, the common theme of these conferences was the desire for the foundations of a unified value approach to science, governed by absolute values.
This is with regard to the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS).
In a continuation, in order to draw even more attention to the fact that the world's problems are solved on the basis of an interdisciplinary approach, the Professors World Peace Academy was founded in 1973 at a meeting of 168 professors from Japan and Korea to support the academic community in the search for peace.
Originally established to strengthen relations between Japan and Korea, the Professors World Peace Academy soon expanded to a higher level, holding meetings or annual conferences in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. The Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) was officially founded in 1983 by Rev. and Mrs. Moon at a conference of professors from 70 countries.
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon sought to contribute to the solution of the urgent problems facing modern civilization and to help bridge the cultural divide between East and West.
Subsequent international congresses were devoted to the main world social systems.
The 1985 congress considered the Soviet system and the transition to the post-Soviet world.
In 1987, the Chinese system was reviewed by 80 invited participants, and in 1989 the world's experts on democracy met to discuss its strengths, weaknesses and future prospects.
Let me quote the words of the founder of the Professors World Peace Academy, Dr. Sun Myung Moon: “I founded the Professors World Peace Academy to be a pioneering organization at this critical moment in human history, capable of mobilizing those scientists who have dedicated their lives to advancing human wisdom, and enable them to play a leading role in overcoming the dangers of the age and opening new paths to world peace. The ultimate goal of PWPA is to help create a just and harmonious world order by encouraging scientists to search for new ideas and methods to achieve peace and prosperity. PWPA must provide scientists with the resources they need to solve the fundamental problems facing humanity. … ”
There was a time when the Professors World Peace Academy was one of the few forums where scientists from different sides of a particular social problem could gather. Such activities have earned PWPA a reputation for bringing people with opposing points of view to the same table to create a better society and a better world – something that the world today is probably clearly lacking.
Confederation of the Associations for the Unification of the Societies of the Americas (CAUSA), founded in 1980. Dr. Moon knew that it is ideology that drives communism and that the key to overcoming communism must be the emergence of the ideology of Godism. In particular, the following words belong to him: “Communism is the enemy of all mankind. It is, first of all, the enemy of God Himself, because it is militant atheism. Communism is not a national but a world problem.”
Question 4: Very interesting. Thanks, Maria! And what is the role of our country within the framework of the activities of IAAP?
Answer: Thanks for the question. Speaking about work in Russia, about the past, I would like to note the international conferences of the Professors World Peace Academy, which were held in Moscow in 1991 on the topic “Culture and Religion” and in 1998 on the topic “Character and Personality.” Russia was represented by such prominent scientists as Igor Vasilyevich Bestuzhev-Lada (doctor of historical sciences), Pavel Semenovich Gurevich (doctor of philosophy), Petr Alekseyevich Nikolayev (doctor of philology) and others. Each of these conferences was attended by more than 30 prominent scientists from Russia, as well as invited scientists from other countries.
One of the important areas of work of the IAAP today is the issue of regulating relations on the Korean Peninsula. We understand that any potential hot spot with the presence of nuclear weapons is a huge danger for all of humanity. But that's not all, because the division of the Korean Peninsula took place with an ideological factor as well: democracy and communism. Perhaps a little later today we will have the opportunity to talk about this, since the topic is quite interesting.
Therefore, the unification of Korea should finally mark the complete end of the conflict of ideologies and be the beginning of a world of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.
We also believe that Russia has a special role to play in resolving this issue. Also, this topic is part of the whole shift of the center of civilization to the east, which today is already a generally recognized fact. Therefore, over the past few years we have held various meetings, roundtables, conferences, in which we considered Russia and its relations with the countries of East Asia. I would like to express special gratitude here to Alexander Zakharovich Zhebin, Alexander Valentinovich Vorontsov, Vladimir Evgenievich Petrovsky and other scientists and researchers of this topic.
Another important area of work within the framework of IAAP in Russia is the construction of a tunnel through the Bering Strait. UPF considers this project as an integral part of the Peace Highway or Peace Road, which should link the whole world with transport arteries. And, of course, Russia plays a key role here. Without Russia, it is impossible to even raise this issue. Therefore, we are providing every possible support to the promotion of this important, unique and at the same time such a natural project for humankind as the creation of a transport highway that would connect the continents of Eurasia and America – a tunnel through the Bering Strait. The implementation of this project is beneficial both for Russia and for many countries of the world. Great support for the implementation of this project was provided by Hon. Aslambek Akhmedovich Aslakhanov, both as a senator and after. And in the line of scientists, a huge contribution to the study of this issue was made by Dr. Viktor Nikolayevich Razbegin, a scientist in the field of spatial economics, investment planning, soil mechanics, foundation engineering and underground construction. We are very pleased with our cooperation with Dr. Razbegin.
Of course, one cannot fail to mention one more important direction of the IAAP in Russia today –- the environmental direction. Many scientists in Russia are investigating questions about how to protect our planet from pollution, climate warming, and many others. Therefore, we consider it important to popularize these studies, to make sure that as many people as possible get acquainted with the results of the latest research, because this will allow everyone to be more attentive to their actions and behavior that affect the ecology of our planet.
Here, I would especially like to mention the Sergey Andreyevich Ostroumov, a doctor of biology and a leading researcher at the Faculty of Biology of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Being the author of a scientific discovery, he also made a contribution to the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 14: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” We highly appreciate his contributions to our programs.
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you about all the scientists who were participants in our programs, whose cooperation we really appreciate. So I apologize for not giving more names.
I hope that we can continue to develop cooperation with many scientists who explore different topics, but are united by a common desire to contribute to the realization of the world based on the ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.
Question 5: Let me ask a more philosophical question. What is the theoretical basis of the association?
Answer: The theoretical or philosophical basis of IAAP, as well as the work of UPF in general, is Unification Thought. It sometimes is referred to as Godism or Headwing Thought. The name itself emphasizes that the core of the doctrine is God, and the concept of the headwing indicates that the doctrine belongs to neither the right nor the left, but, as it were, crowns them both.
Today our world is in complete chaos and confusion, and no one has the slightest idea how to get out of it. Humankind tried to build an ideal world using communist theory, but the result was disappointment and the destruction of hopes. The same applies to the democratic world. The democratic world is led by the United States, but it is far from achieving universal peace. On the contrary, in the current situation many Americans also simply lose hope and consider the future of their country to be vague and unclear, because young people are dying, doing things that can end humanity as such.
We believe that Unification Thought, imbued with the spirit of love for others, whose dominant value is God, can eliminate the hatred, enmity and materialism inherent in the communist ideology, that is, the ideology of the left wing, as well as eradicate the selfishness and self-centeredness inherent in democracy, that is, the ideology of the right wing. We believe that this concept can unite in a single movement both opposing wings and lead people on both sides forward toward the realization of the world that both God and humanity would like.
Perhaps this sounds too optimistic in our rather pessimistic time. However, we believe that this is quite realistic. That is, it can be said that the goal of Unification Thought is the creation of a united world family and the realization of a world based on interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.
Question 6: Why two names: Godism and Headwing Thought?
Answer: The answer, I would say, is very simple. For believers or religious people, the concept of Godism is quite clear and at the same time does not have any baggage from the past. And the concept of Headwing is more suitable for secular people. These two concepts, Godism and Headwing Thought, sound clear to two different types of people: both believers and secular. Therefore, the idea of unification is already in the name.
Question 6.1: Tell us in more detail what is the essence of this concept?
Answer: Well, to start, let's try to compare it with the ideologies of democracy and communism.
How is Unification Thought different from democracy and communism? The United States, representing democracy, supports a one-dimensional humanistic idea, the center of which is a person as an individual. That is, it can be said that it is based only on horizontal relationships.
Communism, too, so far has promoted the idea of a one-sided peace on earth, struggling with class inequality. This approach is also horizontal.
The United States is considered part of the Christian cultural sphere, but it does not equate to God as an absolute subject. Today, unfortunately, many Americans are pushing God into the background, and some even claim that God is dead, bringing humans to the fore.
It is this aspect that causes great criticism both in our country and in many countries.
The goal of Unification Thought is not only to achieve peace on earth, because this is only the initial stage of the ideal of peace.
In other words, communism and democracy speak of universal peace and freedom in the sphere of external form—whether it is the freedom of the proletariat, the struggle for human rights or the achievement of peace. But they are not talking about universal peace in the sphere of inner nature, spirituality, morality.
However, while the sphere of external form, such as the political system or the form of the economy, is constantly changing, the world of internal nature remains unchanged. The external appearance is constantly changing and developing, but in the fundamental essence there can be no change. That is why in many countries today they are thinking about traditional values that have evolved over the centuries.
Unification Thought considers the desire for universal peace and unification as the initial stage of the journey into the world of inner nature.
Reverend Moon said: “Comprehensively studying history, one can see that Hebraism, which gave rise to the Roman papacy, failed; humanism, which gave rise to democracy, failed; and Hellenism, which led to communism, also died. And I thought this: What if there were an international, universal ideal based on a doctrine that combines Hebraism, humanism and Hellenism?
“The new era needs a philosophy that can incorporate all these ideas and lead to the unification of all religions. We need such a philosophy, but it must necessarily be based on a religious basis. The whole point is that we need something more than you and me. Just a human point of view is not enough. The historical and political tendencies of the world are inclined toward this, and we are trying to unite everyone. So I want to propose a Headwing ideology.
“There will be a world in the future, and it will be neither communist nor democratic. We need a world based on the heart, a world where God is central.
"The ideology of the Headwing will inspire people to feel that they are the masters of unity and righteous families."
I hope this brief explanation has given you a general idea of the concept of the Headwing of Unification Thought.
Question 7: Today the issue of values often is raised at the global level, sometimes even in political and scientific circles. What do you think is the role of the IAAP on this topic?
Answer: Extremely large. Today, since there is no absolute standard of morality, immorality prevails in society. A greedy and selfish lifestyle in which people pursue their own interests without regard for what happens to others, even using others for their own sake, unfortunately is encouraged and flourishes.
If this continues, our society will not be able to avoid self-destruction.
Let me use the following allegory to describe the question of value in the realm of science. The navigator who makes a voyage on the sea of the material world under the sail of science only in search of knowledge that improves the external conditions of human life or in search of the pleasures of the body, having reached the shore of his dream, will soon find that this shore is nothing but a graveyard where he can rest his mortal remains. But if he raises another sail, spiritual and one of values, and sets off again in search of inner, spiritual knowledge, he will sail toward a world based on interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, the center of which will be God and which will consist of strong families, where there is a father, mother, children, as well as grandfathers and grandmothers.
Science provides us with a high-tech world of comfort. But we also want to live in a world of kindness, love and beauty! And one should not neglect spiritual values in the name of ensuring a comfortable life. Both are needed!
At the same time, the important point is that for the sake of building a world of good, the absolute standard of morality cannot be considered separately from the Creator, God.
I would say that humanist thinkers since the Enlightenment have made a big mistake by believing not only that religious faith is below human reason but also that the spiritual needs of people are contrary to human reason.
However, with reason alone, we are separated from the ultimate goal of humans, who have a dual nature.
If all the men and women of the world always live with God, in communion with Him, there can be no immorality. And this is the solemn truth. Just as before scientific truth, before moral truth, falsehood dissolves, and even if falsehood is supported by great political, financial and social power, in the end this power will not be able to defeat the truth. Even though ideas such as LGBT or communism are strong and influential now, because they are not based on truth or universal law, the day will come when they will be destroyed.
What is the fundamental cause of chaos in the modern world? This is a complete destruction of the traditional standard of value. We have lost the right standard by which we should live. We have lost the meaning of goodness, truth and justice.
Democracy originally was developed as a means of solving complex problems by ensuring the equality of individual rights and decision-making by consensus. In reality, however, the more democratic the society, the more serious the collapse of its traditional value system. This shows that democracy has failed to find solutions to the problems that our societies and the world currently face.
Also, the most serious structural contradictions appear in communist societies (or post-communist), where the most terrible social injustices abound. And this despite the fact that communism arose on promises to ensure justice for all, to offer the liberation of workers and peasants through violent revolution, to eradicate the social ills and contradictions of early capitalism. …
There is a fundamental way to solve all these problems. It is based on the premise of the existence of the Absolute God and His ideals, the purpose of His Creation. … This is the basis for solving the problems of our age and for creating an ideal world. This is what Unification Thought says.
Until now, prominent figures have put forward their ideas on the basis of humanistic thinking, but we believe that now it is necessary to shift the focus from humans to God. God is an absolute Being. The ending in the word "God-ism" means "a way of life." And this is the very important and valuable role of IAAP.
One more aspect of the work of IAAP can be named.
Technology belongs to all of humanity, not to any particular country. This is also a values issue. The exchange of technology lays the foundation for peace for all humankind. The more strongly countries are connected with each other, the greater the chances for peace. At the 10th International Conference for the Unity of the Sciences in 1981, Dr. Moon put forward the idea of a fair distribution of scientific and technological resources, realizing that developed countries should share their scientific and technological achievements with all countries of the world.
That is, it is worth considering the need to revise the international economic system and the division rooted in it. The economy will not improve until the world unites. Differences between developed and developing countries must disappear. Knowledge belongs to the entire universe and cannot be the property of any one country.
Here are just a few points about the role of the International Association of Academicians for Peace. The role of academicians today is enormous. And there are a lot of work topics. I hope that from my answer it is clear the general direction of work, which can bring together scientists and educators from completely different areas of science.
Dmitry Samko: We have no doubt that this is absolutely clear to our viewers, listeners, subscribers. Moreover, we hope for cooperation and are open to dialogue, so taking this moment to remind about our digital platforms and contacts, we will be happy to answer questions and participate or even organize programs, roundtables with representatives of the scientific sphere. We hope today's webinar was helpful! Thank you very much, Maria!
Maria Nazarova: Now in our country a lot of efforts are aimed at raising the prestige of the teaching profession. A lot of people talk about it, and I absolutely support it. Scientists, professors are also teachers. And academic education should be carried out on the basis of character education. Therefore, the teacher must also possess the heart of the parent. But this is the topic of a separate webinar.
Therefore, in conclusion I want to say that our history is not guided by the teachings and doctrines that people adopt to solve current problems. History is guided by our conscience, which calls people to higher things.
Let us all become true teachers and develop the IAAP in Russia in the name of realizing the ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.