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A Full-page Report of Guangming Daily: Selected Arguments from the 3rd Nishan Forum on World Civilizations

A Full-page Report of Guangming Daily: Selected Arguments from the 3rd Nishan Forum on World Civilizations

 

Diversity · Equality · Inclusiveness · Mutual Reference

 

Selected Arguments from the 3rd Nishan Forum on World Civilizations

-- Common Human Ethics in the Multicultural Context

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: The 3rd Nishan Forum on World Civilizations attracting attention from domestic and overseas academic circle is to be held from May 20th to 23rd  in Shandong, the birthplace of Chinese ethics. By far, the Organizing Committee has received dozens of academic papers submitted by renowned scholars at home and abroad, who, by airing views around “Common Human Ethics amid Different Beliefs”, topic of the Forum, expressed their insightful reflections on key academic issues including common human appeal for ethics in the context of globalization, possibility and practicability of constructing human common ethics in the setting of cultural diversity, essence and connotation of common human ethics, and Confucian ethics and common human ethics. Here are excerpts of some viewpoints to be first shared among readers.

 

Today’s World Requires a Change of our Original Interpretation toward It 

Fred Dallmayr, a professor at University of Notre Dame, argues in this article Curbing Leviathan: For a Global Ethical Alliance that there is a fond belief among progressive thinkers that, in the modern age, humankind has at long last been liberated or emancipated from age-old forms of oppression. What characterizes the last three or four centuries is a string of rebellions, revolutions and radical transformations which ultimately ushered in the “age of man,” an age when a mature humanity is finally in control of its destiny. No matter how pleasing this picture may be—and how much supported by historical episodes—a closer look quickly reveals its shallowness or limitation.  For what that look shows is that—alongside and in opposition to the growth of popular emancipation and self-rule—something else has grown or “developed”:  namely, the modern “state” seen as a military-industrial-technological complex or apparatus.  Although situated at the very dawn of the process, Thomas Hobbes coined an apt term for this complex:  “Leviathan” meaning a huge fish or beast. Then are there widely shared norms of conduct and can they constrain both a domestic and a globally inflated Leviathan? In a second step, how such norms have to some extent been institutionalized in the modern global arena? In a final step, can a non-governmental counterpoise: a global ethical alliance located in global civil society and operating in a way as humanity’s “conscience” be constructed?

In his article Under Western Eyes: Critical Reflections on the Confucius Revival, Prof. Richard Wolin from City University of New York who views the revival of Confucianism from the perspectives of a westerner states that, “having successfully made the transition to modernity, China is now seeking to reconnect with its venerable historical roots and traditions. Increasingly, Chinese intellectuals and opinion-leaders have begun turning to Confucius’ doctrines in their quest for an effective counterweight to the social and moral disequilibrium produced by China’s breakneck pace of modernization. Thus in recent decades, a broad stratum of Chinese thinkers and literati have similarly concluded that practical remedies for contemporary social ills might be found in political ideals derived from indigenous Chinese traditions, as opposed to Western approaches. In this connection, considerations of cultural nationalism have also played a prominent role. As the political scientist Daniel Bell observes: ‘China is a rising economic power, and with economic might comes cultural pride . . . Poised to become a global power, it’s China’s turn to affirm its cultural heritage.’ The Confucian revival is “motivated by a sense of cultural pride and sometimes also by a concern about a moral or spiritual crisis in today’s China.” One of Confucianism’s unequivocal merits is that, a potential corrective to the excesses of modernization qua “development” – a cultural palliative with the capacity can set limits to the mentality of possessive individualism.”

As is pointed out in the article The Tension between Confucianism and Legalism in Chinese History: Are There Echoes in the PRC Years by Prof. Ross Terrill from Harvard, “a yin-yang relation existed between Confucianism and the realpolitk Legalist theory of Han Fei Zi and others. While Confucius had taken an optimistic view of human nature, Han Fei Zi took a bleak view. Confucianists put faith in moral suasion; Legalists relied on rewards and punishments. As Chinese dynastic history unfolded, in public policy a Confucian underpinning sometimes co-existed with a Legalist framework. This dualism of Confucianism and Legalism was one reason the Chinese dynastic system lasted so long. The Han Dynasty re-injected Confucianism into the public policy of the Chinese court after a burst of Legalism. The Qin had standardized weights, money, and ideas, and showed little respect for Confucian culture. The ensuing Han Dynasty eased repressive rules, encouraged Confucianism, and sought to promote ethical bureaucrats. Contemporary China transformed the ratio between “neo-Legalism” and “neo-Confucianism.” and tilted dramatically from moral suasion to rewards and punishments. Still, neo-Confucianism did not die and probably never will.”

Genetic Source for Pursuing after Cultural Diversity

In the article How to Understand Three Kinds of “Children” in the Works of Marx --Exploring Different Routes Adopted by Early Human Civilizations, Prof. Chen Yan from Shandong University, on the basis of a Marx’s metaphor of three kinds of “children” concerning ancient human societies, reveals different tracks for ancient Greeks, “the normal children”, ancient Indians, “the unruly children” and ancient Chinese, “the precocious children” to evolve into the age of civilizations and expounds accordingly the role of the tracks in shaping cultural traditions backed by his analysis of natural environments, productivities, modes of production and living styles of the three nations. Family is the basic unit of traditional Chinese society. Each person is not monadic. People form a complex interpersonal relation, like tree branches and networks. They have no privacy rights before their parents. Couples don’t separate assets. Chinese believe that each person is not isolated due to genetic connection. People are not equal but are varied in age, seniority, wealth and social status. Keeping suitable differences doesn’t hamper people to exchange with each other. Under such ideology, interpersonal relationships at the material level are based on mutually benefit rather than exchange. People are varied rather than equal. People are connected by social networking, rather than contract. At the spiritual level, people value benevolence, rather than universal love. Namely, hierarchy shall be respected. In such mutual reliant interpersonal relationship, Chinese disfavor using abstract universal love to treat various kinds of people, and dislike to use laws to deal with matters with different hierarchical rankings. Moral ethics is not only used for regulating people behavior, but also uniting people’s thoughts. As such, Chinese form a strong sense of cohesion in the social structure, in which family and nation are integrated.

IAS Executive President Ash Narain Yoy indicates in this article Cultural Diversity: The Indian Narrative that India’s cultural diversity is not merely ethnic or racial in composition. Starting with the geographical features, climatic conditions, and the vast regional and intra regional differences one can go on to religion , customs ,attitudes, practices, language , food habits, dress , art , music , theatre and notice that no two regions are alike in these matters. Each group, each sub group has its own set of identities. Then, what holds India together? And yet, there is an Indian- ness and an Indian ethos, brought about by the communion and intercourse between the many races and many communities that have lived in this land for centuries. There is an Indian tradition, which overrides all the minor differences that may superficially seem to contradict the unity. India’s strengths include its openness to the world, its plural attitude to life and its capacity to live with multiple identities. India’s composite culture despite attempts by sections to challenge it remains its greatest strength which has resulted from the constant dialogue and day-to-day negotiations among various cultures and religions and worldviews. India’s weaknesses include its relatively rigid social order and passive tolerance that allows different cultures to coexist in peace but without much critical engagement. India’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. India’s pluralist nationalism has ensured that no one community owns the nation. India’s cultural plurality is irreversible. The Indian example tells us that cultures other than one’s own have something to teach us. Cultural diversity has an intrinsic value which challenges people to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own cultures and ways of life.

Prof. Paulos Huang from University of Helsinki, Finland makes a comparison between Confucianism and Christianity through the conception of “forgiveness” in his paper The Conception of Forgiveness in Confucianism and Christianity, discusses challenges and problems concerning forgiveness in the Confucian context and further points out, “In Confucianism forgiveness of sin has not become an element of the mainstream of thinking. As far as Christianity is concerned, God’s forgiveness comes first, then follows men’s repentance (God gives belief of repentance to men which then makes men produce the behavior of repentance, thereby to believe and receive the grace of forgiveness that Jesus Christ accomplished upon the Cross). In the human world, repentance precedes forgiveness. These are two different orders. The main reaosn for peopel not to repent and forgive is that they see themsleves as the truth. There is no absolute metaphysics, but rather they take themselves or physical things as idol. This absence of fundamental difference between the Creator and creatures and the lack of genuine external transcendence thinking produces easily idol worship. Idol is that you consider yourself as righteous. Once that happens, people would refuse to repent as he thinks he is right; such people would then refuse to repent because they think others are wrong. This is one of the major points that needs introspection in Confucian culture.

Prof. Fu Youde from Shandong University presents his viewpoint in the paper Discussion on Filial Piety in Early Confucianism and Ancient Judaism that filial piety is embodied in both Judaism and Confucianism. Confucianism has a lot in common with Judaism on the basic content of filial piety: Confucian put forward filial piety for father, and Judaism has similar commandments; the basic filial piety of Confucian means to support, respect and fear parents, so does filial piety in Judaism; Confucian advocated the admonition for the father's fault with respect, so did Judaism. However, distinct differences also lie between the two, of which the range, degree and status of filial piety are most differentiated.  First of all, there is a difference in extension or range. Filial piety of Judaism is mainly concerning family ethics. Confucian's filial piety is concerning family ethics, social ethics and political ethics. Second, there are differences in the degree of filial piety. The Confucian's filial piety teaches people not only to support and care their parents, but also to make parents happy. Judaism has no similar laws and habits. Last, the status of filial piety in Judaism and Confucianism is different. In the Confucianism, filial piety is the first virtue. Filial piety is regarded as the second in Judaism. The reason for the difference is that in the Judaism blood affection is the second and faith in god is the first. Judaism is a Theo-centric religion; In Confucianism, kinship is the first and worship for heaven (gods) is the second, so Confucianism is human-focused morality or religion.

Prof. Andrew H. Plaks from The Hibrew University of Jerusalem points out in his paper Shining Ideal and Uncertain Reality: Problematic Issues in Confucian and Judaic Commentaries on the "Golden Rule" that certain negative formulations of the Golden Rule may be understood as mirror images of the concept of retributive justice, prescribing a sort of proactive or reactive payment in kind for undesirable behavior. In its starkest form, this type of interpretation may even be reduced to the unforgiving terms of the lex talionis, ‘an eye for an eye’in apparent opposition to the theme of the Bible. But just as the literal application of the principle of retributive justice was replaced early on in Jewish law by the concept of mutual responsibility, ‘requiting love for love’ (gemilut-chasadim). So, too, Analects proposes “returning good for good” and “repaying injustice with justice”. Wang Yang-ming, who see in the moral message of the Golden Rule enunciated in the Analects a metaphysical identification with the ‘single body’ (yiti) of the entire universe. This understanding gives new meaning to Mencius’s attachment of his own positive formulation of the Golden Rule to the startling proposition that ‘the ten-thousand things are all within myself,’ here not an expression of the vaunt of unbounded ego but a soaring affirmation of the innate moral core lodged within every human heart. This leap of faith, from basic human interrelatedness to a spiritual identification with all creation, may also help to explain the textual linkage in both Jewish and Christian scripture between the parallel commands to ‘love thy neighbor’ and to ‘love thy God’.

Confucian Wisdom and Common Ethics for Human Beings

It is advanced in the paper Confucian Ethics and Common Ethics for Human Beings - Discussion Based on the Cases in Relation to Life in “Mencius” by Prof. Pan Xiaohui form Fu Jen Catholic University that several debates related to life in “Mencius” have provided certain enlightenment for constructing human common ethics. Firstly, we can see from debate of “rule”, “constancy” and “expediency” that the “rule” mentioned by the Confucianism in the Pre-Qin Period must be based on the original intention of “benevolence” or “mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others”, and would never fall into “ethical code eating the human”. Secondly, we can from debate of “life” and “righteousness” that according to Mencius, the life in “let life go” is little part and physical life, the righteousness in “choose righteousness” is great part and spiritual life. Physical life is admittedly precious, but the value demonstrated by the spiritual life is more splendid. In this chapter, Mencius successfully built the Confucian transcendental moral values of “let life go, and choose righteousness”. Thirdly, we can see from “you love the sheep; I love the ceremony”, and “You saw the ox, and had not seen the sheep.” that Mencius distinguished the superior men by using “love”, “be affectionate” and “be kind”: “be kind” is in the broadest sense called as the attitude towards all things, animals, poultries, grasses and trees; “be affectionate” refers to the attitude of the king on the throne towards the common persons”; “love” is the most natural and most fundamental emotion to the relatives. From the Confucian view, the primary object of benevolent love is “human”, particularly “sagacious person”; then the care shall be extended to the poultries and animals. Therefore, we can draw the following conclusions: Confucian ethics has the similar principled thinking as that in western philosophy. Confucian can obtain a basic ethical rule: “righteousness” is superior to “life”, “life” is superior to “rule”, “rule” is superior to “life of animals”; Confucians do not care the distinguishing of the life of poultries and animals, and but lay emphasis on the appropriate treatment with regard to the reasonable relations between the poultries and animals and the humans.

Prof. Wang Min of Hosei Universit, Japan raises a point in this paper Study on the Possibility and Reality of Building up Universal Ethics in the Context of Contemporary East Asian Cultures - Join Point of the Consensus of China, Japan and South Korea that common “points” for the foundation of mutual ethical consensus among China, Japan and South Korea can be found from the vital phenomena existing and lasting among folk beliefs, folk traditions and customs, traditional upbringing and Chinese character culture. 1. Belief in Emperor Yu. Emperor Yu (also known as Wen Ming, Yu, Yu the Great and Yu of Xia), one of the emperors in ancient Chinese legends, was also the founder of Xia Dynasty- the first dynasty of China. Yu was widely known for his great achievements in water control of Yellow River, and was honored as "God of Water Control". The current study result shows that temples and statues of Emperor Yu can be found across China, and the figure may be as high as 4,000. Apart from that, there are also over 90 tablet and historical sites established for worship of Emperor Yu. In South Korea, not only many people are surnamed "Yu”, some place also names after the character "Yu", such as "Yu Shan (禹山)", Yu Jin Jiang (禹津江), Yu Chi Li (禹池里), etc. 2. Belief in Shen Nong. The existing records show that there are more than 198 Shen Nong Temples in Taiwan; In Japan, there is a statue of Shen Nong in Yushima Seido and "Sacrifice to Shen Nong" in Osaka; as with China and Japan, Shen Nong is also taken as the God of Agriculture and God of Medicine and worshipped in South Korea. 3. Belief in God of Silkworm. Similar fairy tales about silkworm are spread among China, Japan and South Korea. 4. Belief in Three-legged Crow/Eight-foot Crow in China, Three-legged Crow symbolizes the imperial power and is responsible to transport the dietary animals of West Empress. In Japan Three-legged Crow symbolizes “loyal, honest and fearless” spirit; while in the myths of the founding of South Korea, Three-legged Crow has similar connotation as it does in China. 5. Chinese Classics. Classics of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism have brought forth great influence on the Southeast Asian societies, in particular, the Four Great Classical Literary Works of ancient China have long been taking the dominant position of the East Asian literatures. Nothing is more competitive than the Chinese characters when mentioning the common ground in cultures among China, Japan and South Korea. If the cultural deposits and platform of East Asia originated in China, Chinese characters are the medium that carried them. This is the most efficient channel that Chinese culture links East Asia and the world.

As a research by a Korean scholar, the paper Reflection of Li Yong on the Nature of Confucianism and Mastering the Fundamental Principles for Practical Application by Prof. Jung Byung-seok from Yeungnam University is a kind of embodiment of “East Asia Culture Consensus”. Li Erqu thought that the character of the Confucianism was not abstract learning simply analyzing the conceptual knowledge, but resolving practical problems about the actual situations and the life. He criticized the Confucians and the Confucianism distorting the fact and talking about noble moral or argumentation all day long, calling them as “being sages and men of virtue in speech” or “talking about moralism on paper”. He clearly held the view of mastering the fundamental principles for practical application by means of diagnosing and resolving the pains or problems related to the human and the fact, to analyze the final goal and character of the Confucianism. In this point, Li Erqu thought that only the company of morality and economy can achieve the complete Confucianism. The Confucian is not the person only reading and reciting the Four Books or ranking No. 1 in imperial examination, but the person good in mastering the fundamental principles for practical application as well as being good in achievement, moral and righteousness, classics and art. Furthermore, the learning about mastering the fundamental principles for practical application emphasized by Li Erqu can be actually called as being internal saint and external king. After the criticism and transcendence on the idle talks of Neo-Confucianism in the Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties, he returned the Confucianism of Confucius and Mencius in the Pre-Qin Period. He thought that only with the capacity of repenting and starting anew, can the deep meaning of the Four Books and Five Classics be mastered. By mastering the fundamental principles for practical application and repenting and starting anew, Li Erqu explored the issues of being internal saint and external king from new prospective when considering the social problems and the shortcomings of the human mind in that period. Li Erqu did his utmost to look for true spirit of the Confucianism. He attempted to the characteristics of the real learning in the Confucianism by using the spirit of the Confucianism in the Pre-Qin Period. At this place, Li Erqu discussed the learning about mastering the fundamental principles for practical application, thus taking off its coat as the official learning, and guiding the true spirit and dominating direction of the Confucianism towards appeasing and helping the people out of difficulty, rectifying the social problems and repenting and starting anew. This transformed and returned the noble and official Confucianism to the normal track of the Confucianism and the Confucianism for the public.

Picturing Human Life, the paper by Prof. Michael Slote from Miami University presents an attempt to find the humanistic basis for human common ethics and paints a picture of human life accordingly. Human motives shall be interpreted as not purely egoistic or altruistic, but “neutral.” Works in the psychology of moral development indicates that human children are normally born with a capacity for empathy that shows itself. So, whatever may have happened to us, we tend to end up thinking of other people or other things that lie beyond us as intrinsically important. And we can therefore say that human life or human lives inevitably and/or essentially involve and express an intrinsic desire to expand the self toward things or entities that lie beyond it and to encompass those things/entities within our lives. We picture human lives as most fundamentally and pervasively involving "expansive encompassing". (Non-egoistic) expansive encompassing gives emotions a central place in human life. This picture of what human lives and human life are like is more balanced: one that is both more optimistic than the pessimism of Freud and Hobbes and more pessimistic or less optimistic than sentimentalist views have tended to be. This balanced picture avoids Xunzi’s pessimism about human nature and Mengzi’s optimism about human nature in a favor of a view that doesn’t take sides on this issue, a view that is just like what Kongzi himself seems to have thought about these matters. The discuss about expansive encompassing and the emotions it conceives as central to our lives is supposed to move our understanding of what human life is like away from certain paradigmatic Western examples like Plato and Kant and toward the points of view one finds expressed in many of the classics of Chinese thought.

The paper Pre-Subjective Dialogue: Discussion and Question of Emancipation of Person--On Habermas' Ethics of Discussion by Huang Yushun, Prof. of Shandong University is intended to explore into some foundation of “Theory of Being” for constructing human common ethics through dialogues and delivers a kind of constructive criticism over Jürgen Habermas’ “Discourse Ethics”. The question that Jürgen Habermas concerns about is how to deliver on the enlightenment commitment, namely, the emancipation of person. Habermas fixes his hope on the change of dialogue paradigm, for which he constructed “ethics of discussion”. However, it won't work, because that the premise of inter-subjectivity still is subjectivity and that it's impossible for any kind of subjective dialogue to lead to the birth of new subjectivity and to lead to the emancipation of person. So the way to deliver on the enlightenment commitment is not inter-subjective dialogue at the gradation of ethics, but pre-subjective dialogue at the gradation of theory of Being. At this point, Confucius’ non-role dialogue pattern is worth learning. In fact, dialogue modes can be divided into two broad categories - inter-subjective dialogue (role dialogue) and pre-subjective dialogue (non-role dialogue).The latter is, as it were, a basic way of life of Confucius; In other words, for Confucius, dialogue is a theory of "existence" or "ontology". It's hard to imagine that Confucius's concept had not been changed throughout his life. In fact, Confucius's thought was changing or improving all the time. There is a history of individual thought, as he put it: "When I am fifteen, I aspired to learn. At thirty, I can be independent. At forty, I am not deluded. At fifty, I knew my destiny. At sixty, I knew truth in all I heard. At seventy, I could follow my heart's desire without overstepping the line." Thus, how the self-change of Confucius happened? In his life, of course, also including his life and dialogue with his disciples. It is only in this dialogue mode of pre-subjectivity that the construction of human common ethics is possible.

After exploring into the foundation of ethics from another perspective, Prof. V . Vladimir. Maliavin at Tamkang University, Taiwan draws the following conclusion in the paper Confucius and the Foundation of Ethics: Confucian legacy and Chinese intellectual tradition in general treat reality as pure, spontaneous event, prior to self-reflection as well as all ideas, concepts and images. This reality is perceived in the flash of insight and is revealed to mind as an absence, “in-between” (jian) of memorable moments of existence, a dark abyss of experience that generates and punctuates the rhythm of life itself. This limit of all things, the eternal Stillness and Void represents not so much an actual humanity as the very source of being human. It can be called antropogenetic in contrast to the anthropomorphic image of man in Western humanism. Confucian humanity must be learned and fulfilled; it does not impose any essence on humans, let alone “natural rights” etc. It is a call and moral responsibility and those who turn away from it are not worthy to be called human beings. Confucianism is based on the principle of “following the primordial source of life”, as elusive and inchoate externally as it is clearly perceived by living experience. No doubt, Confucian ethics is due to become an integral part of emerging global civilization. To accomplish this task one should take seriously the motto of the most Western philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche: “Man is something to be overcome”. We should hasten to add: “To overcome through being fully human”.

Mutual Vision for Human Common Ethics

The topic addressed in the paper Global Disharmony in the World Today: Can We Change it by F. William Engdahl, a U.S. Geopolitician is “the possibility and practicability of constructing human common ethics in the setting of cultural diversity.”The original Greek, ethos, means "custom, habit." The established customs or habits of a given cultural group, people, tribe or nation, evolved over centuries, ultimately supporting that specific group by enforcing evolved rules dealing with human morality—concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime. If we agree on this definition, we have to look at the problem today with ethical behavior or norms of virtue and vice, justice and crime in a world which is being changed rapidly under the precepts of what some call “globalization.” The forces driving that Globalization are ultimately destructive of human ethics and morality in the name of a new form of homogeneity that ultimately devalues human life to the level of robots or even worse human slavery. This WTO-led globalization by these 147 giant corporate groups is creating a form of global totalitarianism in which the political leaders of nations lose any voice over the future of their nations. True harmony should involve the accord of nations among one another respecting each one’s national sovereignty, national needs for the health and security of its peoples. What is required to attain such true harmony globally? This is summed up in one four letter word—love. The present Western-dominated world of globalization is essentially driven by fear. To create a better harmony among nations we need to focus instead on love.

Prof. Ta-Ning Hsieh from Fo Guang University, Taiwan holds in his paper Benevolent Governance and Tyrannic Governance — Enlightenments from Traditional Culture for Resolving Cross-strait Discrepancies that the contrastive listing of benevolent governance and tyrannic governance was a very creative idea in the traditional Chinese culture, but with the stigmatization of tyrannic governance, we lost a precious cultural resource. Today, we should attempt to liberate the relations of these two words and recover their ancient meanings, and expect that such recovery could find out some clues for resolving the problems regarding the significant problems entangling the Chinese people for the current generation and the next generations. Benevolent Governance and Tyrannic Governance are not the contradicting problems as ideal and fact, power and moral, but are compatible with each other, in which the Benevolent Governance serves as the ideal benchmark and Tyrannic Governance serves as the political structure with compromise model between political operation and cultural ideal. Can we build a model for resolving the cross-strait problems under the above premise, by referring to the evaluation of the Confucians on the political mode in the Spring and Autumn period?

The paper Tradition and Modernity: Confucian Ethics in the Globalization Age by Prof. Yao Xinzhong at King’s College London is intended to look at globalization through the perspective of tradition and modernization and to see how Confucian traditions and modernizing powers interact to shape contemporary ethics in China and beyond. In fact we are most likely to misinterpret the spirit of the changes if we use the phrase ‘from the traditional to the modern’ to define the relationship between the former and the latter. The traditional and the modern are mutually contained; they reciprocally affect and change each other. On the one hand, tradition is under dramatic transformation through modernization and is repeatedly invented and reinvented so that what we talk as tradition is not really as ‘traditional’ as it sounds like. On the other, the modern has also been traditionalized and indigenized in the sense that the procedures and processes of modernization would carry the hallmark of a particular culture or civilization. In other words, the traditional has become part and parcel of modern life. All types of modernization make use of at least certain aspects of tradition, and all traditions are not simply passively changed by modernization. The mutual transformation between tradition and modernization is both the vitality of a particular civilization and the context in which a particular way of life is both preserved and transformed. What can then Confucian ethics contribute in the age of globalisation? Global stability and order cannot be built up through external coerce. They must come out of human awareness and sense of responsibility. Confucian ethics requires us to look at our inner selves and inserts the position of moral responsibility in all human relationships. It can therefore be an important resource counterbalancing the strong sense of rights which deeply roots in the western culture. The inner dimension of globalisation will determine whether or not we can have a sound globalisation in economy, politics, education and communication.

 

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