Only a moral person can preserve water

As it follows from the head of this paragraph, the human merits will be discussed hereinafter. It is not a secret that a different attitude of people to water can be met in our life – from worship of water as the certain sacred gift towards an odious behavior when a man disposes his wastes into flowing water of aryks or canals.


However, a person with such an attitude to water can show concern with respect to an abandoned slice of bread – shakes off it from dust, places against his forehead, and carefully puts it in a secluded nook. Why is his behavior so different with respect to bread and water, although he knows, or has to know, that a role of water in our life no less important than of bread? For instance, a man can survive without water only three days, and without bread a few weeks. Why an internal “protective relay” or moral brakes of a man function in different ways under different situations? Of course, such a matter is in the competence of psychoanalysts and specialists in morality and ethics, but it is of interest for all.
In this context, it is needed to remind one discussion shown on TV. The Sunday evening telecast (Mach 19, 2001) was devoted to the meeting of a broadcaster of TV show “Miror” Nikolay Svanidze with the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Cyril. The substance of some statements of Archbishop Cyril is given below. In particular, he said:
«The Christian Orthodox Church recognizes values of the liberal idea of the west: human rights, private property, and democratic freedoms.

However, there are separate moments or the sides of these values, which the church rejects, for example, homosexuality, abortions, alcoholism etc. as freedom of a choice; or equal rights of women in the hierarchy of church management … all this contradicts the Divine word. Hence, all this is sinful, and the church stands up for freedom from sins».

Replying to the broadcaster, Metropolitan Cyril has noticed that the Church keeps up closely with debates in the State Duma of Russia with respect to the agrarian law, because the agrarian law for Russia not only social, but also moral aspect. In his opinion, large cities are the most religious in Russia. As to the Russian villages, here the moral disintegration among Christians has taken place during all 70 years of the Soviet regime as result of a combination of an interdiction of religion, persecutions on ministers of religion simultaneously with destruction of the Russian peasantry (dying villages in the prospering chernozem region of Russia in former times, drunkenness and alcoholism among the population) as the main support of Russian society. As a way out from the created situation, Archbishop Cyril offers to commence the integration process: on the one hand, the liberal idea formed in the western countries with its values, and, on the other hand, – the values of Russian Orthodox Church. He is sure that if to sit down at the round table with kind intentions, it is possible to find options satisfying interests of the Parties – because Russia is the Eurasian country familiar with values both of Europe and of Asia. The model of the human standard developed by such a way can be recommended to a new world civilization of the 21st century.

The author is not familiar with the literature of the Christian Orthodox Church and consequently cannot judge, as far as statements of Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Cyril are perceived by other church figures of extensive Russia. However, there are the constructive moments in his judgments that are interesting even from the point of view of problems under consideration in the present monograph.

In fact, an issue related to landed property was undoubtedly fundamental at all times, not only now, (we could recollect the movement for repealing the serfdom, crisis in the agricultural sector and Stolypin’s reforms, the Decree on Land in the period of the Soviet regime etc.) for agrarian Russia despite of its boundless expanses and abundance in land resources suitable for farming. Therefore, Metropolitan Cyril has considered this matter as the moral category. For us, inhabitants of Uzbekistan, landed property is also the fundamental issue, its sanctity is stated not only in sacred books of the Islam that is practiced by the majority of the population, but also in the Constitution of Republic of Uzbekistan, and in the Land Code. Our society does not recognize a private property on land resources, except for the cases stipulated by the law, does not recognize purchase and sale of the irrigated lands, this great common property of all population of the republic. Under conditions of Uzbekistan, a matter concerning fresh water resources being also property of Uzbekistan’s people is no less moral. Land (irrigated) and water are a corner stone of economy of the republic, the base for sustainable development of the national economy in the 21st century.

From our point of view, a proposal to develop «the world standard of a person of the 21st century» is very interesting. However, the second part of this proposal (to synthesize this standard based only on the liberal idea of Europe with its values and on values of Christian Orthodox Church of Russia) was not completely thought over, since the ancient experience of other countries, which was accumulated under influence of other world religions (the Buddhism, Judaism, Christianities, with faiths distinct from Orthodoxy Church, and Islam) and their values cannot be neglected. It is not only unfair, but also immoral.

In addition, it is still not clear whether the concept of «the standard for a person» is acceptable, because it is not completely coincided with limits of habitual for us definitions of a man as a person and as a member of civil society equal in rights, though similar standards, for example, «the standard of a bachelor» or «the standard of Master of Arts» were put in our practice. Therefore, it will be probably more expedient to consider, first, «the code for a person of the 21st century» or «a complex of vital views of a person of the 21st century» (these names are conditional and can be specified) rather than “any standard”, taking into consideration the common legal and moral norms in coordination with restrictive measures in the field of wildlife management and of preservation of the environment.

It is interesting, even in general way, to fancy «the code», for example, for a citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the 21st century. It is not difficult to assume that it may consist of the following sections:

1. General:

1.1. The constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan guarantees equal rights for all citizens of the republic, irrespective of age, gender, nationality, race, religion, education etc.

1.2. He is loyal with respect to the national idea aimed at creation of the sovereign, democratic, secular, and advanced state in Uzbekistan.

1.3. He follows the national (rather than nationalistic) ideology that points the way of achieving the overall objective and of protecting him against encroachments of alien ideologies.

2. He shall know the following provisions:

2.1. It will be difficult for a person to organize his life without sound general education in the 21st century. It is never late to study (the Constitution guarantees such opportunities) and to get knowledge.

2.2. Such merits as diligence and labor skills should accompany him during all his conscious life and be improved and increased with time.

2.3. During all his life, a person is within an environment (or under influence) of legal and moral notions; his behavioral actions and relations in the family, makhallya, society, at work, and in the State as a whole is adjusted – visibly or invisibly – by a set of specific laws, moral and ethical standards and rules, and he should aspire to comprehend and know them according to his abilities.

To avoid blunders and illegal actions, he should understand and distinguish since his early childhood some moral and ethical categories, namely:

• Good and evil;
• Permitted actions and prohibitions;
• Righteousness and sin;
• Justice and lawlessness; and
• Honor and disgrace, etc.

2.4. He should realize that a human being is a part of nature rather than its master; therefore, he personally, along with all others, has to be responsible for its (nature) preservation, for cleanliness and well-being of the environment.

2.5. His deeds and behavior, which are not in line with the given set of requirements (more exactly, which break laws of the republic, and rules and norms of ethics), at once or later, should leak out to the public (to relatives, neighbors, colleagues etc.) and be subjected to their condemnation or the official court investigations with a follow-up punishment. Therefore, since his childhood, he himself should try to develop his own internal «protective brakes» that allow avoiding evil deeds and actions.

3. He does have the following rights:

3.1. To use a wide set of democratic freedoms and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan (human rights, freedom of speech, liberty of conscience (to be a believer or, on the contrary to be atheist), the right to elect and to be elected a member of the legislature of the state, and to be participant of public and nongovernmental organizations etc.);

3.2. To arrange his life at own discretion (for example, to choose a profession and occupation, or to create the family and to have children etc.); and

3.3. To defend his honor and dignity and other legitimate rights, in case of their violation by anybody, having taken it into courts of different instances right up to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

4. He should not participate or do the following:

4.1. Illegal activity in any form and under any slogan directed against the existing constitutional order or resulting in economic or other damage to the republic;

4.2. Activity related to narcotics, prostitution, trade in arms and ammunition, or assistance to others in such an activity;

4.3. Actions discrediting his honor and dignity as a citizen of Uzbekistan (bribe taking, corruption, use of official position for selfish ends, official eyewash, improper relations with subordinates etc.);

4.4. Damaging, or permission of damaging by others, the environment in any form, including, first of all, inefficient use of water resources and deterioration of water sources (pollution, losses in the form of leakages, over-irrigation etc.); and

4.5. Abasement of the honor and dignity of other citizens in any form and under any pseudo-justificatory pretense.

The above incomplete draft «code of requirements», more precisely, its first sketch, (certainly, such a work should be originally performed by a group of skilled experts and scientists in the field of jurisprudence, history, philosophy, social sciences, Islam and Shariah etc.) and be nation-widely discussed) allows to state some views and proposals:

1. The 21st century substantially differs from previous ones by fast reducing of nonrenewable natural resources, at the same time, renewable natural resources, for example, water resources are exhausted in many places, and their quality worsens everywhere. Under these circumstances, humanity is obliged to live in conformity with permanently varying conditions; hence, such concepts as economizing, savings, restriction etc. will be determinative in its life. Rationing, limitation, and standardization in all economic activities are one of the basic ways for settling arising problems in the future. Therefore, the framework regulation of needs of a man and his behavioral actions and deeds at work and in social and private life, based on the generally recognized «code of requirements», is practically useful and necessary, and does not infringe upon his rights at all.

2. Prior to practical application, formulation and improvement of “the Code” are no the most difficult part of this task. Difficulties will arise at their putting into practice. All the system of upbringing and education, first of all, of young people – the family, makhallya, school, universities, female and youth organizations, mass media, religious organizations etc. in the course of their activity should permanently explain targets and the value of “the Code.” The final goal of this large-scale moral and educational activity is the formation at the majority of population (first of all, among young people) of the deliberate moral mechanisms, as if internal ones, those are automatically acting and preventing evil deeds and actions of a person.

3. This chapter was called: «Only a moral person can preserve water». A sense of this heading is clear, and it is hardly possible to object to its substance. However, another aspect could be mentioned here. As shown above, upbringing of a person, taking into consideration his moral principles, has an integrated nature. A moral person, as a rule, remains a moral man in all his actions; and his human attitude to water is a special case of his moral principles. In other words, I would like to emphasize that if a person is brought up in the spirit of requirements of “the code”, he treats to water kindly similar to bread or to the certain sacred gift from God, i.e. economically and with care.

Chapter of book: Water & Ethics (Thoughts of Professional and Citizen)
Author: Abrar Kadirov

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