The backbone of any society, read civilization and culture is its system of values. There are material and spiritual values. The material values of a society are the economic values specifically.The spiritual values can be seen as a triad, the Platonic triad of Beauty, Truth, Good, that is aesthetic values, scientific one and moral/religious values.
Ancient societies developed material conditions and values together with aesthtic systems of values, an ethos that to a certain extent is syncretic that is incorporates scientific and moral/religious vales as well.
The Vedas, the Old Testament, Tao Te Ching, Zoroastrianism, etc. are as many spiritual (moral/religious) value systems that functioned in Antiquity in their respective cultures. China, Persia, Israel, India are rather monadic worlds at the spiritual level in those times.
Only with the creation of the world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam we see for the first time globalization of spiritual vales cross cultural and continental.
Even if as moral value systems Buddhism, Christianity and Islam are not much different in message, yet in what strictly faith is concerned and divinity they are conceived to be unique and exclusive.
Middle Age will be by definition a period in human history of religious wars and confrontation for supremacy of one faith and moral model.
The Renaissance and mercantile capitalism of first bourgeois republics in Italy will bring about values of the scientific kind together with market values in Europe and the New World.
The dominant values of early capitalism are ethical and economic values, Cristianity and in particular Protestantism will be leading values of Western capitalism exported through colonialism on 5 continents.
After the turbulent XVIth century in Europe the continent will be crippled by catastrophic events in the XXth century.
Void of valid ethical value and spiritual values Western cultures thrive on scientific and material ones by now exported to every corner of the world.
The XXI century brings globalization of values. This is yet to be understood. Is it possible a globalization of all spiritual and material values seen as pluralism or is it merely the Westernization of the planet?!
The moral/religious model of the West for a long time now is defunct. The crisis of spiritual values covered the XIXth and XXth centuries. Postmodernism did away with an ethical and religious system of values of the bourgeoisie and middle classes in Europe and most Western world.
The 21st century records a void of spiritual values in the West. The scientific model as the dominant model of the present brings about values of truth versus falsehood. The Zeitgeist of the 21st century is the demythologization of all Western myths.
For many in the world today there are moral and religious values still valid, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism among others that are not being dismantled from the interior.
These ethical systems find themselves under pressure from the Western world dominated by material values as well as by scientific values.
If globalization means pluralism then spiritual values of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism must get equal respect with scientific values and material values. If the planet is going to be Westernized in the XXI century then the scientific values together with material values should prevail in the sense that all values, spiritual, religious, scientific and material are true and valid, and again pluralism is the only way for our planet.
If the theory of the double truth, the teachings of Averroes and Siger of Brabant were possible to trimph over the obscurantism of the Middle Ages bringing side by side the religious and the philosophical(scientific) truth so we can today hold many truths and live in a pluralistic world. By choice not by force.Prerequisite: mutual respect for diverse values.
Elena Malec, California 1/9/2015