Monday, June 20, 2016

459. The Consistency between Confucius Moral Philosophy and the Founder's Insistence on the Nececcity of a Moral Citizenry

I usually delete all spam emails. However, today I accidently found an email notifying me that my paper has stimulated discussion in his group of studying Confucianism. I am very happy to find some posts from the discussion. I quote one of the posts here below. I am sure that my readers would like to read it .
"Absolutely fascinating. Wang does a good job of demonstrating the consistency between Ruist self-cultivation and the founders' insistence on the necessity of a moral citizenry. The evidence of the founders' reverence for Confucius will be a great help in promoting Ruism in the U.S.

It would be very interesting if Wang explored the tension between the idea of Confucian moral leadership ("Confucius taught that a perfect leader could create a perfect world through moral strength and example") and the founders' insistence on restricting the powers of political leaders. Jefferson, for example, said, "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

On one hand, the founders placed a great deal of emphasis on moral self-cultivation of the people. But they also placed a great deal of emphasis on restraining the powers of government under the rule of law and "checks and balances" because they believed that men couldn't really be trusted to wield too much power."

Thank you, Ben Butina, great points.

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