Sunday, January 10, 2010

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 On Confucianism


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 4/17/2006

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" - 国家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 behavior 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 lacks freedom and individuality, for all the Confucian ethics are "Social Status/Hierarchy -Oriented", in contrast to Christian morals which are established on the priciple of Freedom and a self-directed, self-enforced monotheist 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. God and one's self are entirely missing. One is only to perform for others and the state throughout his life, NOT to live for his own goals and innermost yearnings by God. 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 and conscience. Pleasing others and friends, being used and even abused by them, is viewed as devotion and ultimately ethical. There is no standard on how these codes are judged and evaluated, except in others'/public's/majority's 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/using others as means to an end, to the collective and the emperor, and using others without consent to justify some lofty goals are viewed not only as normal and Chinese, but as something most moral. Cultural slavery is the necessary outcome of these pseudo-morals and ethics. And the very despotism some Chinese claim to dislike and despise is precisely established on this "Others/Superiors/Emperor-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/internalized 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 properly get their heads examined, for they are bordering on Bipolar or Schizophrenia.

As I have encountered many Chinese and many in the liberal left in America, I have found this border-line Bipolar or 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 a 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 human being?

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