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This post was edited by sfphoto at 2018-1-22 17:00|
cmknight Post time: 2018-1-22 01:20
The basic underlying principle as stated by Confucius is reciprocity ( 恕 ) -- the two-way relati ...
Confucius started out as a wandering teacher who preached social ethics and public morality. Then his teachings attracted disciples who added their own interpretations which were then compiled into books. These Confucian teachings then attracted the Chinese Emperor during the Han Dynasty which adopted Classical Confucianism as the official State ideology. From that point onwards, Confucian Scholar-Officials propagated Confucianism for both State and Society. During the Tang Dynasty, Buddhism influenced Chinese intellectuals who created neo-Confucianism. Korea, Japan and Vietnam then adopted both Classical and neo-Confucianism.
Here’s a description of the “relational ethics” of Confucianism vs. the “transactional ethics” of Western Liberalism:
Confucian ethics rightly emphasizes relationships. Contemporary Western ethical theory, on the other hand, is focused on individual rights. Rights theory is intimately linked with individualism and the priority of liberty over other social goods. Indeed, western liberal theories often define themselves in terms of the priority of the right, which means the priority of individual rights, over considerations of value and the overall social good. Without diminishing the importance of claims for the equal dignity and humanity of all persons, the alleged universality (and superiority) of a fundamentally rights-based conception of morality appears to be a contemporary liberal conceit. Human rights claims clearly have their proper place in moral and political philosophy, but it is noteworthy that even Kant, the patron saint of liberal rights theorists, focuses on our duties before our rights. For Kant, it is through our sense of duty and moral responsibility that we become conscious of the dignity of humanity.
Confucian ethical theory, with its emphasis on relationships and responsibilities, provides a striking counterpoint to contemporary rights theory. In particular, it helps us see clearly the point and place of rights claims. The five basic relationships clearly involve responsibilities and duties, and we have seen that ideal human relationships are characterized by mutual care and mutual respect. When these relationships are functioning properly the individuals will naturally make claims on each other and have legitimate expectations about how they will be treated, but they need not appeal to individual rights in pressing these moral demands. Indeed, in many normal social contexts, rights claims seem out of place because of their individualistic emphasis.