The technological achievements of modern natural science are known to all. We live daily with the products of the scientific age: automobiles, airplanes, electricity, television, and plastics are just a few examples. The consequences of modern technology, however, are not all positive. For example, atomic energy is accompanied by the threat of annihilation. The Industrial Revolution, which made possible our standard of living, also delivered acid rain and other byproducts which threaten to destroy our forests and, in turn, the very air we breathe.
The possibility of such natural holocausts is created by the lack of clarity and order in our inner world, the moral world. While physical nature has yielded to inquiring minds, the moral world of our times seems to be a virtual wasteland. We appear to be no further advanced in our ability to make moral decisions than our ancient ancestors. The result of moral disorder lies in the chaos of our inner cities, the crime which threatens the security of our societies, the deception of our governments at all levels, the wars between our nations, and the disintegration of family life, especially in western cultures.
Robert S. Hartman, the father of modern value science, axiology, observed that we “have made our world a paradox: artificial satellites whirl around us, yet deep within us we are frozen with the fear of a cosmic explosion.” Having directly experienced the horrific results of moral decay in Nazi Germany, Dr. Hartman dedicated his life to the discovery of a science which brings order to moral decisions.
Mastering a number of languages and dialects, Dr. Hartman collected instances of the meaning of “good.” He examined these instances to find out what was similar and different. He studied the theories and systems of value from Plato to our present day. He analyzed the natural sciences to understand what made possible scientific discovery in the natural world.