Wednesday, August 6, 2014

358. Law, Moral, Confuicuis and Founding of the United States

As the main designers of the new nation, the founders knew that it took more than a perfect plan of government to preserve liberty. They needed some moral principles accepted by the people to encourage them to obey laws voluntarily. They recognized that a free government should be supported by people who could act morally without compulsion, and would not willfully violate the rights of others.

Benjamin Franklin firmly believed that "Laws without morals are in vain. (quid leges sine moribus vanae proficient)" Cultivating new virtues for the fledgling United States therefore became one of the most significant themes during this time of social and political transformation. With this notion in mind, the founders turned to Confucian moral philosophy.

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