But Buddhism and related Eastern value systems are not contenders for shaping humanity. On the practical level, Buddhism is losing ground to secularism even in Asia. And in the West, a minuscule percentage of the population takes it seriously and in a form often so Westernized as to be unrecognizable to its Asian practitioners. On a philosophical level, Buddhism is more of a philosophy designed to enable the practitioner to achieve enlightenment than a societal way of life to combat evil and promote good.
Then there is -- or was -- Communism, Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and Stalinism. They seduced much of the West's intelligentsia, just as leftist ideas do today. That seduction is what led George Orwell to write that some ideas were so stupid only intellectuals could believe them. But since the collapse of the Communist regimes of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, they hold much less attraction than they once did. Some in Hollywood still idolize Fidel Castro, and Che Guevara is chic among the morally neutered, but Marxism is not a viable alternative for humanity.
So we are we left with Judeo-Christian values and secular left values. The latter, as noted, hold sway among the world's elites. But they are personally so unfulfilling and morally so confused that they cannot work. Western Europe will hopefully awaken to this fact as its socialist economies fail and as it realizes that you cannot fight faith (radical Islam) with no faith (secularism).
That leaves Judeo-Christian values.
It is urgent that the case be made. Much of humanity has little by way of a religious/moral foundation. Many of the more than a billion Chinese, for example, have some ancestral emotional ties to Confucianism, but with each passing year, those ties weaken. And a combination of strident nationalism and a rapacious money-making ethic are replacing it. That is a frightening amoral combination.
The Judeo-Christian value system is not only the best value system for humanity; it is the only viable one. If we do not promote it, moral chaos will ensue. And we can't promote it if we don't know what it is.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”