Excerpted from here’s how by who’s who, a compilation of messages from successful men. The following article was written by Barry Goldwater in 1965.
Far too often today, man’s achievement is measured in terms of material gain, but we need look no further than the history of our own culture and its development to find that only in spiritual blessings may we attain mankind’s goals.
Those who carved this nation out of a wilderness and created an independence never known before were men with deep spiritual motivations, men who sought freedom to pursue their own ideals and their own aims as the children of God.
This measure of man’s success in materialistic terms can be applied only to those civilizations which would destroy God and have been developed on atheistic concepts. In the slave world, success is measured only in terms of armed force, industrial development, housing, welfare and trade. It is never considered, even in jest, in relation to its spiritual achievement or in terms of freedom. Our society, on the other hand, does not live for the sake of butter or for the sake of guns. We have as our moral object the high dignity of man; and our political aim, ordered freedom—liberty under God and under law with justice for all. As long as these are our goals and we cherish our spiritual background, we shall enjoy our freedoms.
I say this for I know it is impossible to maintain freedom and order and justice without religious and moral sanctions. It is equally impossible for man to enjoy true dignity without a model that is more than human and a hope that is more than earthly. Man is made for eternity; he does not perish like the flies of the summer; therefore he enjoys dignity. Each of us is a person, made in the image of God. Therefore, each of us enjoys natural rights under God, rights we may exercise in building true values.
Man is not a thing, but an immortal essence. And freedom, ordered liberty, is man’s birthright; for without true freedom, man could not choose between good and evil. He could not become fully human. He would remain, at best, childish. The real line of division in today’s world, is between those who believe in a transcendent order of things and an enduring human nature, and those, on the other hand, who would treat man as a mere creature of appetite, self-created or chance-created, to be dealt with as advanced social planners wish. It is between people who know themselves to be part of the great continuity and essence, and, on the other hand, people who live in the nightmare realm of an existence with no meaning.
The perpetuation of our civilization and our cultural heritage rests upon our own spiritual beliefs, not upon material gain.