The modern conception
of religion has veered towards considering all
from the value-conception. Value is an economic
concept in the main and it is something that is
considered to be valuable firstly because it
satisfies a basic or non-basic need. Therefore
in the modern language religion also is
considered from the standpoint of its value.
A thing is valuable is
so far as it satisfies or fulfils a basic need.
It is defined as something 'actually liked,
prized, esteemed, desired, approved and enjoyed
by any one at any time'. It is an object of any
interest according to some.Value also is linked
up to its use or utility.
Usually values are
considered to fall into two groups: the
intrinsic or that which is valuable in and for
itself, and that is valuable in so far as it
helps that realization of that which is valuable
in itself. The former is called intrinsic value
and the latter instrumental. The intrinsic value
is found to be always so. Another distinction is
made between potential (future utility), and
immediate or actual value.
The value of a thing
thus has to be determined from its immediate and
instrumental use and for its potential and
ultimate or intrinsic nature.
There is always a
tendency to make instrumental values ultimate by
emphasizing their necessity for attaining
ultimate value. Thus arise confusions between
ultimate and instrumental values.
There are certain
writers who have made value tables too. They
think of purely instrumental values, which
include the natural the economic, and the lower
intrinsic and high intrinsic values which
include the bodily needs and social and other
needs. But this is an unfortunate division or
classification for it is clear that the body
itself is treated to be an intrinsic value
albeit lower than the higher which includes
again social values which do not surely lead to
any intrinsical realisation.
The classification is
pragmatic in approach, rather than from the
real value approach wherein a value is intrinsic
in so far as every other value is surrendered or
subordinate to it.
This will create a
pyramid of values rather than a table of values.
instrumental Lower intrinsic Higher
: Life, i. Bodily health a)
Recreation b) Character
Property c) Aesthetic
Work d) Intellectual
ii) Economic: Money Exchange
The above table is
adapted from Brightman. It is as he would say,
taken from our actual valuations. But it is
certainly clear that a different view of reality
will produce quite a different type of table.
Indian Ethics has
produced a different table: It recognizes the
two sets of values, instrumental and intrinsic.
The intrinsic value is that which is what all
other values gain by being instrumental to it.
Thus it recognizes that artha (or wealth, power)
are purely instrumental. They are instrumental
to kama (or desire) objects of material desire
or need. Thus bodily ends are lower intrinsic so
to speak. But kama is itself shown to be
instrumental to what we may call the feeling of
liberation or self-realisation. What fulfillment
of a need produces is the fitness to proceed
forward to the real end. The body itself is held
to be an instrument for realizing dharma or the
Good. (Sariram adyam khalu dharma sadhanam).
Thus the lower intrinsic values are lower
because they are in turn instrumental to the
final or ultimate end or value – liberation
which is attained through dharma. The misuse of
bodily values or attainments come in when the
dharma is not adhered to and liberation is
barred. The end towards which money is to
further to be instrumental is development of
social and individual dharma or duties that one
has to perform towards the five large areas of
human existence – gods, fathers, (manes), guests
or other fellow human beings, to creatures
domestic and dependent on man and serving him,
and elements of nature itself which have to be
kept pure, like water, air and earth, fire and
sound (akasa) or space. We are in a world where
in the interests of society all sources of power
from nature like our atomic power and nuclear
power have to be used for the welfare of all –
gods, fathers, men and creatures of the earth.
Dharma or duty becomes
instrumental in turn to freedom or liberation
(moksa). The discover of duty itself is due to
the awkening intelligence when misuse of
instrumental values takes place. There is aright
way and a wrong way of use of economic and other
power, of desire and even conflicting duties
provoke the search for a still more ultimate
value. The seers of India discovered that karma
(or even duty performed) produces results which
tend to bind man. Character of a man once formed
becomes so difficult to develop higher lines of
realization. Thus morality itself becomes
religion the ultimate. Thus we also find that
knowledge for its own sake becomes the goal,
just as art for its own sake becomes pursued.
Liberation is the
liberation from all bondage, all that tend to
bind. The main secret of liberation lay in its
emphasizing a free life that does not produce a
bond-life. A return to bondage has been stated
to be the destiny of most men who have not found
a way out of it except by cutting at the root of
birth or rebirth.
The conception of
rebirth is not held by some theologians and
therefore liberation does not features at all in
such religions and philosophies. . But Indian
Philosophy and Religion empahasize this goal as
the parama-purusartha. It is however true that
some have held that beyond liberation there is
the goal of God-service irrespective of its
being for man or not.
Moksa as the
parama-purusartha has been the intrinsic goal.
Religion as the expression of this
parama-purusartha thus becomes the regulative
principle of all other values.
reveals the following unique featues: (1) It
reveals the unique sense of dependence on the
ground of the universe. (2) mystical experience
of that ground and the spontaneous outburst of
prayer, (3) awareness of illumination, (4)
consciousness or awareness of the Divine mind
back of all things,
(5) acknowledgement that God does for man what
man cannot do for himself or rather the
experience of Grace, and (6) Consciousness or
imperative of submission to the Cosmic Being or
will of God which directs the Cosmic purpose.
All these recognizions could be together or
coalesce but religion is interested in finding
that all these values impinge on each individual
and thus possesses uniqueness of impact, a
friendliness in God, the Ground of all Reality.