Prince Charles harks back to ethical fundamentals
Prince Charles of Great Britain addressed a convocation of Harvard University's 350th anniversary celebration here on Sept. 4. The following are excerpts from that speech: ``I cannot help feeling that one of the problems which is gradually dawning on the Western, Christian world is that we have for too long, and too dangerously, ignored and rejected the best and most fundamental traditions of our Greek, Roman, and Jewish inheritance. ...Skip to next paragraph
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``While we have been right to demand the kind of technical education relevant to the needs of the 20th century, it would appear that we may have forgotten that when all is said and done a good man, as the Greeks would say, is a nobler work than a good technologist. ...
``We should never lose sight of the fact that to avert disaster we have not only to teach men to make things, but also to produce people who have complete moral control over the things they make. Never has this been more essential and urgent than at this moment in man's development. ...
``All the best thought in Greece, Rome, and Judea emphasized the interdependence of moral and intellectual training if we are to escape from the leadership of clever and unscrupulous men.
``There is no doubt in my mind that the education of the whole man needs to be based on a sure foundation -- in other words, the values of our own Christian, Western traditions, which in turn are the product of Hellenism and Judaism. That, of course, does not mean we have to deny the validity of other men's traditions. We should indeed look for those elements that unite us rather than concentrate on the things which make us different.
``What I am trying to say is that if during the course of a person's education he is introduced to the principles of a religious attitude to life, as the Greek philosophers and Hebrew teachers would have seen it, then it is possible to learn to equate human rights with human obligations.
``It is possible then to see a relationship between moral values and the uses of science and for those who affect our lives in some way or other through planning and administrative committees to appreciate that at the end of the process there is always a man or a woman, or a family.
``Surely it is important that in the headlong rush of mankind to conquer space, to compete with nature, to harness the fragile environment, we do not let our children slip away into a world dominated entirely by sophisticated technology, but rather teach them that to live in this world is no easy matter without standards to live by.''