Saturday, May 2, 2015

391.Confucius, the Founders and Private Morality

In his Op-Ed article, Goodness and Power, April 28, 2015, David Brooks, the columnist of the New York Times, had a good point on private morality. He said that private morality "is about building trust and enduring personal relationships. That means being fair, empathetic, honest and trustworthy." He continued "People with good private morality are better at navigating for the long term. They genuinely love causes beyond themselves."

Through reading Dr. Dave Wang's article, Confucius in American Founding, a reader should be able to find out that Mr. David Brooks' opinion on private virtue is consistent with the founders'. According to Dr. Dave Wang, the founders understood that respectable and benevolent men were more likely to support the universal pursuit of happiness. An affectionate man would not only be more likely to live in harmony with his neighbors, but also able to understand the mutual sacrifices required for the success of the new nation. The founders drew from Confucius’ moral teachings for the private virtue that the new nation required.  The main tenets of Confucian moral philosophy provided what the founders needed to build the new private virtue for its citizens and future leaders. These founders dreamt of creating the truly virtuous people brought up by the Confucian standards of a gentleman. As a result, Confucian moral philosophy became so important to the founders and the cause they fought for.



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