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儒家伦礼vs.基督道德 Confucian Ethics vs. Christian Morals
儒家伦礼vs.基督道德 Confucian Ethics vs. Christian Moralsin 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:42 am
by fountainheadkc • 1.385 Posts
Confucian Ethics vs. Christian Morals
价值一语： Words of Value:
A man becomes a Christian; he is not born one. --- Tertullian: The Testimony of the Christian Soul
一个人只是去选择作一个基督徒；他并不是生下来就是一个基督徒。 --- Tertullian: 基督灵魂的见证
By Kai Chen 陈凯 （Reprint 9/30/2011)
Kai Chen Forewords:
On Saturday's LA Times, there is an article on the front page entitled "China's Honor Code". In the artile, the author reveals that today's China there is a lack of Confucian ethic of filial piety. Children are less inclined to take care of their parents and the elders. So the authoritie in China try to erect laws to punish the younger generation for not fulfilling their obligations, the street committees are posting the names of those who trespassed to shame them, and even more ridiculously, schools demand children to wash their parents' feet and learn to enjoy it as a filial obligation, after they get back from school.
I wrote an article to send to my email partners to contrast Confucian ethics, which I termed Pseudo morals, for its lack of priciple of individual freedom, with Christian morals which is principly based on individual freedom of acceptance of certain moral codes.
I invite your comments in this forum to discuss such a contrast.
This is my first day of hosting such a forum and I am still learning to operate this board effectively.
CHINA'S HONOR CODE FROM PAST - ITS CONFUCIAN CONNECTION TO PSEUDO MORALS AND ETHIC OF TODAY
中国传统的道德观 - 它的儒家基点与今日中国伪道德的联系
By Kai Chen 陈凯 （Written 4/17/2006, Reprint 9/30/2011)
On this Saturday's LA Times' front page, there was an article entitled "China's Honor Code". It entails how nowadays the Chinese children fail to honor the ancient Confucian moral code of filial piety.
Some Chinese authorities even try to revive the ancient practice by erecting laws, enlisting tactics of shame by publishing the names of those who did not support their parents, and even forcing the school children to wash their parents' feet after they get home from school and refort their filial acts back to the school authority.
Those of you who fail to see the connection of Chinese feudal ethics based on Confucian teachings to a despotic authority still in control of Chinese society, should at least have seen it a little more clearly by now. The very concept of Nation is expressed in two characters in Chinese - "Guo Jia" - Nation Family, in congruent with core Confucian ethics based strictly on the order of "Emperor and Subordinates, Father and Sons". Now in a soulless Chinese society, the Communist Party and authorities want to tap into the ancient moral codes to establish some order and control. Forcing children to take care of their elders is only one of the tactics they use to enforce the slave mentality in the society. The implication is unmistakably political - since the offspring have the obligation to serve the elders, the population has the obligation to serve the nation - the communist Party-State, by logical extension of Confucian reasoning.
I say that Confucian ethics is a pseudo-moral code, precisely because its nature of lack of freedom and individuality, for all the Confucian ethics are "Others-Oriented", in contrast to Christian morals which are established on the priciple of Freedom and a self-directed, self-enforced orientation.
Loyalty, Filial Piety, Chastity and Devotion to Friends are all dependent on others to judge one's worth in his pursuit of being moral. One is only to perform for others and the state throughout his life, NOT to live for his own goals and innermost yearnings. And this code of ethics is strictly hierarchical and one-way street. There has never been an element of Emperor being loyal to his subordinates. The very term Loyalty implies bottom-up direction. There has never been an element of parents or elders being dedicated to and caring for their children. Childrens are tools for the elders, and are subjects to their elders no matter how old they are. "When father wants his son to die, his son has to die". There has never been a demand of husband to his wife. Chastity is strictly for women, with their unconditioned submission and bond-feet to please men. There has never been admission and recognition of self-interest and individual dignity. Pleasing others and friends, being used and even abused by them, is viewed as devotion and ultimately ethical. There have no standards on these codes are judged and evaluated, except in others' eyes, in the collective and superiors' feelings.
In Confucian ethics, somehow being used by others and using others are justified as being the very sign of Chinese identity. Using themselves as means to an end, to the collective and others, and using others without consent to justify some lofty goals are viewed not only as normal and Chinese, but as the ultimate morals. Cultural slavery is the necessary outcome of these pseudo-morals and ethics. And the very despotism come Chinese claim to dislike and despise is precisely established on this "Others-Oriented" fake morals. Everyone in this code justifies their own men-using and men-eating, under the lofty Confucian ethics. Everyone is also justifying their victimhood and helplessness by saying they are the products of their own cultural environment and they can never be free from their own Chineseness given by their own ancestors. Everyone is vehemently Nationalistic in defending this pseudo code of honor. The recent return of Wang Zhizhi to China to serve the Party-State's interests is only one examples of such moral degradation and corruption.
In sharp contrast, Freedom is the prerequisit in Christian morals and ethics. All the morals are accepted by individuals, NOT forced upon them. Equality is the necessary outcome of this moral code. Every individual is a beginning and end to himself and the only judge of his moral behavior is God through his own conscience. Thus Christian ethics is Self-Oriented and Self-Directed. Any suggestion of force and involuntary action by individuals are viewed strictly as immoral and corrupt. Individuals are not to be used as animals, as means to an end, no matter how lofty the end might be, no matter how much power and how many people the enforcer possesses. This is real morality, real ethics. They are timeless values encoded in our genes and bones, and embobied in our yearning for liberty, life and happiness. This is HUMAN morals and ethics.
Those who profess to love freedom and also love Confucian ethics should have realized the intrinsic contradiction of their mind-set. One cannot truly love freedom without accepting the very responsibility it entails. One cannot truly understand liberty without understanding choice and open-ended possibilities. Those who want their group identity to supercede their individual identity should have given the very results it always leads to the proper name - Slavery. Those who claim to want freedom yet don't want to cast away the fake security and certainty the slave owners always promise and guaranty their subjects should properly name their actions as "Prostitution with a Chastity Plate hanging in front of their chests". Those who want to plant bitter melon vines in their fields, but refuse to accept the bitter fruits, or deny their original intention by saying "I never meant that the fruits are bitter" should property get their heads examined, for they are bordering on Bipolar and Schizophrenia.
As I have encountered many Chinese and many in the liberal left in America, I have found this border-line Bipolar and Schizophrenia to be prevalent. All of them claim to have good intentions, all of them claim to want to save others and serve others. (Even today forcing and conditioning individuals to Serve the People is still the paramount accepted and promoted ethics in China.) All of them excuse themselves when they see the murder and mayhem in their beloved despotic countries and collective nations around the world with wail such as "I didn't mean that when I first supported their ideologies" or "the ideologies of Communism and Fascism are good, only the practice of Bad people give them bad names".
Where are your individual moral integrity and responsibility? Where is your mental faculty for reason and logic? Where are you as an indivisible individual?
RE: 儒家伦礼vs.基督道德 Confucian Ethics vs. Christian Moralsin 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:22 pm
by fountainheadkc • 1.385 Posts
Contrast American & Chinese Students[/size]
"Free Beings" vs. "Chinese" Series
陈凯一语： Kai Chen's Words:
To understand reality and find truth in the world is what the Chinese should do in order to be free. Not as some assume that first the Chinese need to be understood by the world.
Contrast American & Chinese Students[/size]
By Kai Chen 陈凯 （Written 5/10/2006, Reprint 9/29/2011)
If you compare native born American students and the first or second generation Chinese American students, you will find that most Chinese American students have better grades and attend better schools. After they graduate, you will find most Chinese American students tend to have good, steady jobs with good incomes.
Yet, very few Chinese Americans have become prominent in community lives, in politics, in the military, in social activities, in becoming corporate executives... Somehow they are not in the American leadership echelon. I have heard some complaints from Chinese American communities. Some blame it on racism and glass ceilings, some blame it on the cultural barriers, some blame it on the language difference and their Chinese accent... But very few Chinese American families see that the defective Chinese family culture plays a big role in this phenomenon.
Most Chinese families, especially those who have just moved from overseas to America, have great work ethics and they taught their children to work hard as well. But they fail to understand that a capitalist society not only rewards hard work, mostly it rewards innovation and risk-taking. The free market rewards not only effort, but mostly talent plus creativity. This is where the Chinese families come short.
Having good grades does not make good citizens. It is only one element. Most Chinese families keep to themselves or just function in the Chinese speaking circles, either due to language difficulties, or a reluctance to merge into American mainstream culture. Many Chinese students have very little social contact outside their own cultural circle; many have very little extra-curriculum activities. Very few play sports which is a very big part in American life. Very few assume school student leadership activities and roles. Very few have things and interests that are special to themselves and to others. They are single-dimension competitors. They only work hard to get good grades.
Confidence is crucial in a person's social life and career. Yet many Chinese students are socially illiterate and are basically social retards. They simply don't know how to effectively communicate with others, others that are not in their cultural circle. They assume somehow people are not connected on individual basis but only on group and cultural basis. They simply fail to understand what America is about. They simply fail to take advantage of the enormously open social structure in America. They simply fail to express themselves as unique individuals.
My brother came many years ago. But he and his wife have never paid attention to their only son when he attended high school. They have never gone to a PTA meeting, never communicated with the teachers and school authorities, never even bothered to enter American mainstream culture. They have never travelled together as a family, never gone to see a movie as a family, never had any habbies to immerse themselves in the community... Of course they have every right not to know others, but just don't blame others for not knowing and understanding them. Their son eventually got in trouble with the law and involved in other unpleasant things, but ultimately they fail to understand that in America, in a free society, you are your own master. There is nobody else to blame. If one has shirked his own responsibility as a parent, what does he expect from his child? The only thing I ever heard from my brother and his wife is " making money" in America and life is so hard and so on. His wife eventually returned to China and retired at age 50, full of complaints about their American failure. She simply returned to the misery and stagnation she had known so well and from which she had some certainty.
It is not just my brother and his family. I see many such examples in Chinese American community. Yes indeed they have never had to speak a word of English in China Town or San Gabriel Vallley where are mostly occupied by ethnic Chinese. Yet, they have thoroughly failed to be active, conscientious individuals responsible not only to their own family and themselves, but to God and mankind. They have simply dropped out of American scene. So how can they blame America for their stagnant social status and a joyless life, for they had never bothered to know anybody else? I can't imagine that Condy Rice only worrys about Black community and still makes the Secretary of the State of America. Can you?
My point is maybe there is something (or lack of something) in the Chinese American community that is to be blamed for the failure. Maybe it is the narrow-mindedness in the Chinese culture, or the defects in the Chinese language itself, or something else we still need to find out. But just to blame America, the most open, most free society in human history for not paying attention to the Chinese is a joke. Attention and respect can only be earned, not asked or demanded.
I welcome everyone's opinion on this subject.
Thank you so much for a wonderful article. Your keen observation is to the point and is truly thought-provoking. Mediocrity is indeed the lamentable consequence of all the "good education" provides. Hopeful your writings will give everyone a little nudge out of this comfortable pit of going nowhere.
The Lord is my shepard. = El Senior es mi pastor. = 耶 和 华 是 我 的 牧 者