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[Vol.22 (2014)] A Study for Promoting Morality through the Application of the Confucian Notion of Benevolence (Ren
Author : LEE Sang-ho
Date : 19.04.03
Page : 67-84
Keyword : overemphasis on appearance, cut-throat competition, social problem, kejifuli к, practice of filial piety and fraternal love, xiannanhouhuo
Abstract :

Humans are composed of two elements: body and mind. If the body becomes the criterion of evaluation, one may become separated from others, but if one sees others from the origin of mind, they are interconnected through the mind. In a traditionally Confucian view of human nature there are four virtues: benevolence (ren ), righteousness (yi ), ritual propriety (li ), and wisdom (zhi ), which are represented by benevolence. If human nature is exercised rightly and justly, the original mind is manifested. However, if the minds function is distorted in the process of exercising ones original nature and turns to selfishness, one can develop the greedy desire to sacrifice others for one's own benefit. Many contemporary people increasingly prize the visible body rather than taking interest in the invisible mind, and lead a life seeking the satisfaction of selfish greed instead of pursuing the original mind. When people attach importance only to the body and cherish selfish greed in their mind, they lose morality and live as extreme egoists. Some major reasons for the loss of morality include lookism, mammonism, cut-throat competition, egoism, and the pursuit of momentary pleasure. A good-looking appearance may play a positive role in boosting confidence, but overemphasis on appearance naturally results in the negligence of internal beauty and theenrichment of the original mind. Moreover, it costs a lot of resources, including money, to keep a fine appearance. As they believe that wealth will bring a comfortable life, many people continue to seek financial gain without obtaining satisfaction. The social trend of mammonism encourages people to act against their conscience unreservedly as long as they are making money. However, materialism has its limitations, particularly as wealth can often only be attained through intense competition, which requires constant strain and attentiveness in order to succeed. In such a state, other people are always viewed as potential competitors, and there there are no friends with whom one can share one's mind. On the other hand, the human body is limited by inescapable death. If one gives importance only to one's body, one has to seek tantalizing momentary pleasures in order to forget the fear of death and to quench inner emptiness, indulging in fleeting pleasures which give peripheral gratification. As a consequence, morality is lost and various social problems such as sexual violence are generated. A fundamental cure for the loss of morality is to restore the Confucian virtues traditionally ascribed to human beings original nature (benevolence, righteousness, propriety and wisdom) and apply them actively in various aspects of life. In this regard, Confucianism proposes concrete ways to enhance morality, including kejifuli к (self-restraint and restoration of propriety), xiaoti (practice of filial piety and fraternal love) through the recovery of relationships with parents and siblings who are most intimate and most likely to become one with me, and xiannanhouhuo (regarding the difficulty to be overcome as one's first business and success as a secondary consideration).

Attachments : ART001902179.pdf

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