Moralogy is a technical term, coined by Chikuro Hiroike from the Latin word mores (meaning morality) and the suffix -logy (meaning science), to designate his conception of a new science of morals. Moralogy aspires to be a comprehensive human science that, on the one hand, encompasses the study of ethics and morals as these exist in the world today while, on the other, developing and offering guidelines for human beings to live in a better way, based on research into a wide variety of topics concerning humankind, society and nature.
Principles of Supreme Morality
Conventional morality is based on the instinct of self-preservation, and it often turns out to be selfish in actual human activity and in society. This egoistic tendency is the cause of various sufferings, conflicts, antagonism, fights, and in wars among nations in extreme cases. Hence, eradicating egoism or selfish tendency in our mind is the first step toward supreme morality. Morality expounds on how to eliminate the selfish and egoistic disposition in our mind.
The world’s sages followed the law of the Universe or the will of God. Their actual mentality and conduct are characterized by a deep love of benevolence towards all living things, including all human beings and all matters supporting us. More precisely, their impartial and unconditional love or benevolence towards all beings greatly moved and led people of their times to believe in the existence of God, and His essential nature to be just and benevolent. Thus, to have faith in God is to actualize this benevolence in social life, regardless of people’s dogmas or religious affiliations.
The concept of the precedence of duty over personal rights derives from the world’s sages to the effect that what one gains is the result of one’s efforts. This is not only in accord with scientific evidence in various disciplines, but also practically reasonable for the advancement of individual happiness. All the sages of the world manifested this principle by working wholeheartedly for the promotion of true happiness of all human beings. According to this principle, we need to fulfill duties in order to actualize our rights.
“Ortholinon” is a term Hiroike created and it signifies the successive lines of essential moral conduct in human communities. This is the series of benefactors who, inheriting the benevolent spirit of the sages, create or develop the physical, social, and spiritual life of mankind. Ortholinons are classified into three categories: the family ortholinon consisting of ancestors and parents; the national ortholinon, national symbols such as heads of state, bringing unity, order and security to our national life; and the spiritual ortholinon, the series of people who contributed to the rebirth of our mind. It is our duty to express our gratitude to, and live up to the spirit of, the ortholinons.
The sages of the world strove for the enlightenment and salvation of mankind. It is crucial for us to cultivate human minds, which are often egoistically oriented, based on the wisdom and morality shown by the sages. The contents of this cultivation are composed of the principles above mentioned. In moralogy it is emphasized that those who purport to try to practice supreme morality in their own lives should devote themselves to the cultivation of human minds, and this is the fundamental method of attaining the perfection of our own moral character.
Chikuro Hiroike: the Founder of Moralogy
Chikuro Hiroike (1866-1938), the founder of Moralogy, started his career as a teacher in Nakatsu in the western island of Kyushu. In his mid-twenties he left Nakatsu to Kyoto, where he intensified his study of history and began publishing a monthly journal, History for the Layman. He then moved to Tokyo in 1894 at the age of 29 to participate in a national project, the compiling the Encyclopedia of Ancient Things in Japanese. At the same time he achieved mastery in his specialist subject, the history of oriental law, and received a doctoral degree in law in 1912 for his pioneering work in this field.
Hiroike accomplished great scholarly feats in every field in which he involved himself, but his hard work over many years seriously damaged his health, to the point that he almost died in 1912. This crisis impelled him to reflect with the utmost seriousness on the meaning of his existence to that point, leading him to a commitment that, should he survive, he would re-orient his life totally; he vowed to devote his entire being, all his knowledge and strength, to the study of the methods and principles needed if true piece and happiness for the whole of humankind were to be achieved. He survived his brush with death and lived on for more than twenty years, working to clarify the path to a truly moral life.