Rongyang (Edward) Zhang
Nov 11th, 2013
Influences of Confucian Virtues on Chinese Moral Standard
In China, “Hyo” is a traditional moral behavior since ancient China. In Chinese, “Hyo” means filial piety, a virtue of respect to parents and ancestors. This kind of virtue is not only praised highly in ancient China, it is also one of the most important virtues affecting modern Chinese nowadays. “Hyo” is the first virtue of the eight main virtues in Confucianism. These eight virtues include: Hyo, Ti, Zhong, Xin, Li, Yi, Lian, Chi. These morals of Confucianism influenced the moral behavior of Chinese from ancient times to modern times. The core idea of Confucianism is Jen. James D. Livingston described Jen as the supreme virtue of humaneness in Anatomy of Sacred. Confucius regards Jen as the supreme virtue, which includes the eight virtues. In order to interpret Jen, people have to study the eight virtues. Confucius thinks that Jen means loving people, and the love from children to parents is a kind of Jen. An old saying in China says that among all the good deeds, Hyo comes first. Compared with other country, filial piety is especially concerned in China that it even becomes a norm to judge people. Confucius mentions that Hyo is based on respect. Nowadays, many youth interpret Hyo as supporting parents with substances. Confucius thinks this is wrong and he tells in his Analects: one can either raise livestock or their parents, but if he or she treats their parents without respect, then what’s the difference? So it is easy to see that respect is the fundamental of Hyo. Meanwhile, Hyo can also be interpreted together with Ti, the respect to elder and younger brothers. Confucius defines Ti more deeply that it is not only the respect between brothers, it is also a relationship making them help each other. When Confucius defines Jen and Hyo in Analects, he mentioned: “Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity, and the great...
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