Comments: "Inamori Foundation To Establish International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case"

Irving News Comments
April 2005
Reproduced with Permission

[NOTE: Time is running out. If there was ever a time for understanding "bioethics" for what it really is -- not what one wishes it to be -- this is it.

There are literally dozens of different kinds of "ethics" -- all of which are "normative", that is, they take a stand on what is "right or wrong". That is, none of them are in any way "neutral". The newest kid on the ethics block is "bioethics", and one of the first major settings for "bioethics" was Case Western Reserve (referred to in the press release below). Bioethics is not "ethics per se", but rather just one among many different kinds of ethics -- a subcategory of "ethics" in general.

However, as the press release below explicitly indicates, "ethics" for them is synonymous with "bioethics". "Bioethics" was created out of thin air in the 1978 Belmont Report by the National Commission fulfilling a Congressional mandate of the 1974 National Research Act. As with several kinds of "ethics" established throughout history, bioethics' ancient roots are of gnostic (pantheistic) origin. This is why the good of the "individual" in this pantheism is relegated to -- and relative to -- a much lower status than the good of the larger overall "society". The abuses that can follow are far too numerous to list here. (see Irving, "What is 'bioethics'?", at:

In the Belmont Report "autonomy" is defined narrowly and absolutely as referring only to autonomous human beings who are "persons" (therefore non-autonomous human beings are not "persons", and thus are "objects"). "Beneficence" has two contradictory definitions: (1) a passing reference to the Hippocratic Oath where the "bene" (or "good") refers only to the individual patient; and (2) the major definition, where "bene" refers to the good of society (a very utilitarian, relativist type of ethics). "Justice" is defined as "fairness" -- fairness in the distribution of the risks and benefits of research. Of course, among the "benefits" of research are money and power. The Belmont Report also claims that every citizen of a society has a "strong moral obligation" to volunteer to take part in purely experimental research "for the greater good of society".

One of the Founders of bioethics, Dr. Tom Beauchamp (Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University) was quick to incorporate "bioethics" into "business ethics" (and in the "ethics" of several other academic fields and professions as well). Many of his "business ethics" textbooks have been used for years in colleges, universities, companies and organizations around the world. Of course, "ethics" for bioethicist Dr. Beauchamp is synonymous with "ethics". Now, with this understanding of "ethics" -- read on. -- Dinne N Irving, Ph.D.]

Yahoo News
April 11, 2005

Inamori Foundation To Establish International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case

CLEVELAND, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A $10-million gift to Case Western Reserve University from Inamori Foundation -- founded by Kazuo Inamori, international business leader and the founder of Kyocera Corp. and the telecommunications giant KDDI -- will enable Case to establish the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence.

"The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence will nurture and inspire global awareness of our common humanity through the study, teaching and practice of ethics and the pursuit of excellence in business, technology and all other forms of human endeavor," Edward M. Hundert, M.D., president of Case, said. "We are extremely proud and honored to be recognized for our compelling excellence and selected to become the world's leader in this important work."

Creator of the famed Kyoto Prize -- long considered the world's Nobel Prize for lifetime achievement in the scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind -- Inamori Foundation has designated a portion of the gift to Case to create an Inamori Prize to annually honor outstanding international figures in the field of ethics. The first Inamori Prize will likely be awarded in 2008.

The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence will explore different types of ethics to serve as a "common spiritual backbone for humankind and strive to indicate high moral standards and universal viewpoints," according to Inamori. An international search for the Inamori Professor of Ethics, who will serve as director of the center, will begin immediately.

The center also will serve as a symbol of the university's vision to create a learning environment infused and engaged in activities that focus on making the world a better place for humankind.

"The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence will help our students, our faculty -- all who touch Case Western Reserve University -- to promote the deep, continuous ethical discourse we have made a priority," Hundert said. "Case aspires to be an environment that will fill the future of humankind with hope and help students and faculty alike to achieve a transformational learning experience."

The center will embody Inamori's personal philosophy, known as the Kyocera philosophy, which is based on the idea of "pursuing what is right for humankind." This and two other principles moved Dr. Inamori to establish Inamori Foundation in 1984. Those other two concepts are: "People have no higher calling than to serve the greater good of humankind and society" and "the future of humanity can be assured only through the balance of scientific progress and the spiritual maturity."

The Kyoto Prize, also established in 1984, is the world's premier honor for individuals who have made significant contributions to the progress of science, technology, advancement of civilization and enrichment and elevation of the human spirit. The award is presented annually in each of the following three categories: advanced technology, basic sciences and arts and philosophy.

Ethics has long been an integral part of education and research at Case. The university is home to one of the leading departments of bioethics in the country and to the Center for Genetic Research in Ethics and Law, established in 2004 with a $5.3 million gift from the National Human Genome Research Institute. Case also is home to the Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science, a National Science Foundation-supported initiative; the Center for Professional Ethics, administered through the Case School of Law; and Case's unique undergraduate learning curricula, SAGES, the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship.

Hundert is himself an experienced ethicist, having been on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School with an appointment in psychiatry and medical ethics. He currently holds an appointment as a professor in the department of bioethics at the Case School of Medicine.

About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Sciences.

About Inamori Foundation

Inamori Foundation was established in Kyoto, Japan, in 1984 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Kyocera Corporation and Honorary Advisor of KDDI Corporation, with his personal funds. The Foundation takes an active role in promoting international understanding by honoring those who contribute greatly to scientific, cultural advancement and human betterment, supporting young researchers in Japan and providing programs for social contributions.

The Kyoto Prize is an international award created in 1984 by Inamori Foundation to recognize those who have contributed significantly in the three categories of Advance Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. Each laureate receives a gold Kyoto Prize Medal and a cash gift of 50 million yen (approximately $450,000) per category in Kyoto on November 10 every year.

(SOURCE Case Western Reserve University)

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