Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. The second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two precepts hang all the law and the prophets’ (Mathew 22.37, 38, 39, 40). ‘By this all men know that they are my disciples, if ye have love one to another’ (John 13.35) …’He who loveth God loveth his brother also’ (1 John 4.21) …’If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar’ (1 John 4.20) …The first thing that takes our attention is the saying of Jesus, ‘Thou shalt love,’ etc. (501-2)
The quest towards developing the ideal human character is sought after in both the Bhagavad-Gita and Confucius’ The Analects. In the Bhagavad Gita, the concept of sacred duty is prevalent throughout the text, as the warrior-prince Arjuna faces a moral dilemma throughout the story. In Confucius’ The Analects, filial piety is a virtue which impacts an individual’s character in relation to the Confucian religion. Sacred duty within the Gita requires the protection of one’s dharma, which is defined as the religious and moral law that manages an individual’s actions. Within Confucian thought, filial piety is a virtue of respect for one’s elders, ancestors, and parents within a community. Despite the differences between the contextual meanings of developing the ideal human, both the Bhagavad Gita and The Analects utilize their teachings towards developing ideal human character within the themes of sacred duty and filial piety with the goal of establishing a set of communal ethics to be maintained through different caste systems, essentially protecting the existing social structure. To argue this claim, I will begin by analyzing the similar intentions of deviating from selfish actions and thoughts to develop ideal human character. I will then express how the nature of this character leads towards the development of one’s sacred duty and filial piety. I will then connect these two ideas to show how together they work to develop a communal set of ethics aimed at maintaining order
Moral principles generally shape a person’s character. Such principles ultimately influence the way a person makes decisions, and may become the foundation that people pattern their lives after. However, in Chinese philosophy there exists a difference of opinion of moral principles. One by the name of Mozi advocates impartiality and condems partiality. He expresses that everyone should benefit everyone equally. Although this may seem benevolent, the very idea is impractical. Mozi’s point of view is rather progressive and future driven, due to the fact equal treatment for everyone has never happened historically and quite frankly, may not ever happen. In correspondence, Mengzi indicates that one’s first and strongest love, is love for one’s
"If an individual can practice five things anywhere in the world, he is a man of humanity...reverence, generosity, truthfulness, diligence and kindness" (Ebrey 19). Confucius' gentleman has to possess these fine qualities to achieve success. On the other side of the token, Daoism emphasized the need for similar entities. Laozi explains: "For minds, the depth is good. In social relations, human-heartedness is good. In speaking, the trustworthiness is good. In government order is good" (Ebrey 28). Both systems, through through different approaches, promote peace and goodwill among the family, society and with neighboring states.
In achieving benevolence or ren, Confucius prescribed several ways to strengthen one's moral character, which he thinks is the only way one can truly achieve ren. Interestingly, Confucius centers his discussion on moral character strengthening on developing one's values through the family, specifically, love, respect and loyalty to parents. Confucius prescribes that unconditional devotion to one's parents reflect the strength of the individual's character, whether love, respect, and loyalty are reciprocated or not:
In the Analects, the virtue of humanity centers around reverence, generosity, diligence, honesty, and kindness towards others. In seeking to attain each of these virtues, the goal is to become a true junzi, a gentleman (Confucius, Analects, 2). Men are thoroughly instructed upon how to deal with other people. They are treat everyone with kindness and righteousness (Confucius, Analects, 1). Reverence is to be shown to superiors, and harmony maintained with those not on his “level”. The dignity of a gentleman's actions are what gain him respect (Confucius, Analects, 1-2). He is to “expect” no more that what one is capable of in service, but to be “pleased” by nothing less than true following of “the Way” (Confucius, Analects,
No matter which time period we look back into, society has largely opposed the ethical standards of the Bible. Since the beginning of time, with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, man has disobeyed God. Only a few generations after the Creation, man had become so wicked that God destroyed all but one family. Each era since the Flood has had a level of disobedience and opposition to the Bible’s standards. Some have held closely to those standards. Some have been blatantly opposed. The society in which we live today in America is not only blatantly opposed, but takes great satisfaction in mocking those who hold close to the Bible. These groups of people want their standards to be those of all society.
For example, the Analects of government, sage, virtue, and manners give a sense of teachings and positive philosophies to follow in order to become a good ruler and obtaining and giving respect. While the Classics and ideals of popper conduct, political peace, moral power, love and ideal humanity help to reinforce the Analects by giving an ideology of a humanism. As Confucian gives words of wisdom of establish a community who should act only when necessary, use knowledge for the benefit of all, and to live in peace in order to developed a stronger culture. Confucius gives the Chinese people a focus on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics, creating a community of righteousness and moral disposition to do good and how one should act in a community. Overall, Confucianism is a source of values, the social code of the Chinese, and a substance of
1. The biblical basis of Jubilee 2000’s call for the immediate canceling of all debts of HIPC’s is found in Leviticus. This bible book states that “you shall not oppress one another.” Also in the book of Leviticus in the case of someone who becomes poor and in turn to sells his possessions then his relative may redeem the possessions he sold. Or if the man has no one to redeem it but he himself becomes able to redeem it then let him count the years since the sale, and restore the remainder to the man whom he sold it, that he may return to his possessions. But if he’s not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the land of him who bought it until the year of Jubilee and in the
Nuyen (123) has also contended that Mencius considers Heaven to qualify and delegate ruling rights to whom they (heaven) deem fit to carry out its intention. By that, Mencius will only consider the upper ruling class to be able to make appropriate decisions for the people because they are the only ones who can interpret Heaven’s will. In Chinese philosophy, many see that it is possible to become like a God, hence many stress on the importance of ‘doing good’ and being moral to achieve that bestowing status. Confucians first maintained that there was a morality that was mandated by heaven, and that it was a pivotal purpose for humans to safeguard what was given to them by the heavens (Scarpari, 323). Hence, development of our morality is also part of heaven’s will for humans (Loubna, 181). If desire is constituted as part of human nature, we need to find a balance that aims to fulfil our needs while at the same time, not compromising on the natural flow of life with any negative impact (Wu,
The book by Nicholas Wolterstorff is written with an aim of showing why love may actually contribute to injustices as opposed to the common belief that benevolenceis good. He goes ahead to allude to the Bible and describe the popular Christian belief of love as Jesus used to teach. He explains that in Christianity love is viewed as having concern for one’s neighbors wellbeing and actually going ahead to help them when faced with problems without expecting anything in return. The writer goes ahead to suggest that the Christians view of benevolence is mistaken because it sometimes undermines justice. He explains using various examples that benevolence often conflicts with justice. Wolterstorff explains that benevolence comes when doing what we feel is good as opposed to what is required of us by justice. He uses the example of South Africa to explain why he feels that love actually contributes to injustice. He explains how the Afrikaners perpetrated injustice in the name of benevolence. The Afrikaners felt that it was good to allow people of different races to live in different parts separately because it would make them feel more comfortable when practicing their culture. The writer concludes by supporting the belief that Jesus was not advocating for pure benevolence but instead advocated for the type of love where we care for others.
“It's the foundation of why we started doing this. We all have a love for people. The Bible tells us love your brother as
Benevolence and righteousness are universally valued. For example, Christianity and Buddhism both value honesty, forgiveness, loving your neighbor, and making the right choices.
Mencius states that “...if one is without the heart of compassion, one is not a human” (Mencius, 2A.6), which is a quote that captivates the essence of Mencius’s conventional life rather well. The conventional life is a lifestyle that focuses on the idea of all humans being born with these natural tendencies to be good, as well as to do good things. However we choose to care for these seeds planted within us will ultimately decide how we as humans treat others in this world. This conventional life contains the most convincing philosophy in my opinion, for it focuses primarily on the concept of humans being born as “good”, and choosing from that point on if they will use their natural born tools to remain “good”, or stray away from that path entirely.