Golden Rule: on one hand it encourages reciprocity and motivation toward positive action. On the other hand, the amount of good that any individual can do is limited compared to the amount of damage anyone can cause. Silver Rule: on one hand it prohibited one to act negatively. On the other hand, they are less damaging and risk-adverse as you are free to pursue all the other ones which are good or are neutral.
Translations: “Benevolence”, “Goodness”, “Human-heartedness”, “Compassion”, “Pity”, “Love”, “Virtue”, “Virtue of Virtues”, “Supreme Goodness”, “Charity”, “Humanity” and “Kindness”.
In Ren , one’s actions are ruled by the rules of the heart and that such man is the truly virtuous man. Through Ren, Zhong and Shu society will have equity, justice, respect, love, pity, compassion, kindness and charity resulting to peace, tranquility and progress. Evil will be totally annihilated and all people from the world can benefit from the merits of these virtues.
1. See p. 256 of Creel.
Gustave Lanson, in his thesis, acknowledged the external influence of China in the philosophy of eighteenth century France and the political principles underlying the indigenous developments of the French Revolution. See p. 266 of Creel.
Confucius By: Ong, David Bryan Tan Drajat, Gibran Group 5
Flow of the Report Introduction to Confucius and Confucianism Getting to Know Confucius (more detailed) Ethics Virtues Right Ordering of State Evaluation and Critiques Summary/Conclusion * A more detailed outline is included in the handouts
Confucius promised those who followed him no great riches, no secrets for worldly power or fame.
Instead of gold or glory, he spoke only of a dream—a world where happiness, good, and peace would replace misery, evil, and war.
Introduction to Confucius “ Confucius was a man who never led an army, ruled a kingdom, or conquered a nation, but shaped the flow of human history and established a system of ideas that has lasted over twenty five hundred years.’ (Bennett Sims, 1968)”
Confucius returned from Chou to the country of Lu, and more disciples came to study under him.
At the age of 35, due to a conflict between the rulers of 2 different countries, Confucius left his country and went to the country of Ch’i, where he worked as a secretary to Baron Chao Kao, in the hope of establishing a connection with the duke of Ch’i
In the company of his disciples, Confucius left Lu and traveled in the states of Wei, Song, Chen, Cai, and Chu, purportedly looking for a ruler who might employ him but meeting instead with indifference and, occasionally, severe hardship and danger
When he was in Wei for the second time, the duke was pleased to see him but did not put him in power
When he was in Wei, he had many disciples who were in the government.
K’ung Wentse of Wei asked Confucius about Military tactics but he politely declined.
Then he decided to leave Wei
Confucius returned to Lu in 484 B.C .and spent the remainder of his life teaching, putting in order the Book of Songs , the Book of Documents , and other ancient classics, as well as editing the Spring and Autumn Annals , the court chronicle of Lu
The ending of the Zhou Dynasty in China was marred by warring factions within the empire, harsh rule by the power wielding elites, and to some extent, political chaos. Confucius, lived during these times and sought for an understandable and capable way of ruling.
The moral and social order was in a state of decay. Confucius sought a way to restore the cultural-political order. He believed that reform would come through educating the leaders in the classics and in his philosophy.
General Definition: what sort of person one should become and what way of life one should live; emphasis of being than doing.
Not a Chinese term; the framework is dominant of the West and has its roots in the Ancient Greek Philosophy, which was later enhanced by Thomas Aquinas during the Medieval Period.
Confucius’s Ethics thus believes that morality stems from the identity/character of the individual, rather than the outcome of his/her actions (consequentialism), rules (deontology) or social context (pragmatic ethics).
The Confucians searched for a stable political order without any exercise of force and withhold of moral principles.
The Western secular civil society discourse, seperating that of “ private” and ”public” spheres is completely relative to Confucians. The same is true between voluntary and involuntary forms of association.
Minjian Shuhui – ”people-based society” in interpreting civil society, thus the inevitability of collective action and authoritarianism relative to morality.
Five Relationships does not justify authoritarian system per se, but the doctrine of ”three bonds”, between ruler/minister, father/son and husband/wife arguably does.
On the basis of five relationships, a civil society grounded in creative or complementary reciprocity would prevent weaker members from acting as moral agents in the reciprocal exchanges that bind the society together.
One of his disciples said: ‘we can recognize a Junzi by the fact that his movements are free from any brusqueness or violence, that his expression is one of complete openness and sincerity, that his speech is free from any low and vulgar or as we should say ‘Cockney’ tinge’
The great exemplar of the perfect gentleman is Confucius himself. Perhaps the tragedy of his life was that he was never awarded the high official position which he desired, from which he wished to demonstrate the general well-being that would ensue if humane persons ruled and administered the state.
Some Quotes from Analects of Confucius about the Junzi
"The superior man in everything considers righteousness to be essential. He performs it according to the rules of propriety. He brings it forth in humility. He completes it with sincerity. This is indeed a superior man
"The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions"
'A gentleman is at peace and ease, but not arrogant.’
'A gentleman encompasses all and is not partial.'
'A gentleman help others to fulfill good, not vice.’
Confucius achieved positions of ministership, by virtue of his philosophical distinction, in a number of States and was thus in good position to portray the objectives of Government in his age as well as the special qualities of the rulers in contradistinction with those of the ruled
Confucius was first a bureaucrat and then a teacher of young men aspiring to government service.
Confucius said: ‘Guide the People with governmental measures and control or regulate them by the threat of punishment, and the people will try to keep out of jail, but will have no sense of honor or shame. Guide the People by Virtue and control or regulate them by li, and the people will have a sense of honor and respect’
‘ When the sovereign is a good son, and a good brother, and applies the same principles to the government of the nation, that is also what we call government’
"He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it"
Q: If you are forced to give up one of these 3? What would you go without first?
Confucius answered: ‘I would go without the army first, then I would go without sufficient food for people. There have always been deaths in every generation since man lived, but a nation cannot exist without confidence in its ruler. ’
Possible Confucian Rebuttal: The advice to imitate the sages amounts to the idea that one ought to ‘do what’ they did, but internally and mentally, rather than externally and physically, or in other words, to think the same way they thought. hence one who is trying to imitate the sages need not be committed to pursuing lines of action that ,either because of one’s own deficiencies or because of the circumstances, tend toward disaster.
This ‘Confucian’ Rebuttal creates problems, which brings back to the 2 problems mentioned earlier.
If I am not as smart as a sage, then using the same methods as a sage to decide what to do may simply be too hard for me to do without horrendous results
or even if I am capable of applying the same deliberative methods correctly, under different circumstances those methods might be precisely the wrong way to think
Lastly, if they take the sages as a model for imitation only in the sense that they provide examples of right judgment or good character, rather than specific guides for action and thought, then they undermine the distinctiveness of their own position
Confucius was born in a time when conflict and war were everywhere, which brought about social and moral decay. He wanted order and harmony, thus, Confucius thought of a way to restore this social and moral order, hence, the creation of his philosophy, Confucianism.
The ethical thought in Confucianism is inseparable from its virtuous guidance and embracement of Virtue Ethics.
Politically speaking, it is fair to say that Confucians searched for political order but its attainment should be through moral principles rather than hard power and force.
There are four major virtues of Confucianism, i.e. Ren, Li, Shu, Xiao and they are all interconnected in forming a paradigm of social and moral order found on daily lives. To lead a virtuous life, it is imperative that one maintains familial relationship, because to Confucius broken family relations will inevitably lead to corroding society.
A junzi is an ideal man to lead society. He leads by his conduct and character. Its opposite is the Xiaoren,who only acts for personal gains
A good government is a humane government and the leader should guide by moral example. Factors of a good government include Confidence of people in ruler, sufficient food and army.
The idea of Confucius becomes salient to the realization of Enlightenment in general and French Revolution in particular to the gradual establishment of Western Democracy. Furthermore, its philosophical thinking is still prominent domestically and widely practiced throughout the contemporary Chinese society.
Confucianism faces many criticisms, which include: Confucianism being too idealistic for practice and the fact that a imitating a virtuous man might make things worse for some people (thus, making it erroneous both in theory and practice).
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