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Chinese Ethics: “The superior man is versed in what is moral" - Confucius

By Jim Wesberry

"If mankind is to survive, it must go back twenty-five centuries 'in time to tap the wisdom of Confucius." recomended  75 awardees at the first international conference of Nobel prizewinners.    Confucius emphasized the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior to achieve morality. Other Chinese philosophers expanded his teachings. Confucius was China’s most famous Philosopher. He lived in Ancient China during the Zhou Dynasty. Confucius was a government official, and during his lifetime (he lived from 551 to 479 B.C. ) he saw growing disorder and chaos in the system. Perhaps due to the turmoil and injustices he saw, he set himself to develop a new moral code based on respect, honesty, education, kindness and strong family bonds. His teachings later became the basis for religious and moral life throughout China. The Five Virtues of Confucius Confucius believed that a good government was the basis for a peaceful and happy society. And the basis for a good government was good officials. In order to become a “good official” a person had to master the following Five Virtues: li Li for ritual etiquette, manners, gravity "Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart." ren Ren stands for Kindness to the fellow man “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses." xin Xin stands for truthfulness, faithfulness and sincerity “The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions” yi Yi for righteousness or honesty, generosity of soul “When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves” xiao Xiao for filial piety, for strong family values “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home” Confucianism, an ethical and philosophical system that stresses hierarchy and obedience, was China's official state ideology in Imperial times, In the 20th Century It was reviled by the Communist Party. Now it appears to be making a comeback.