My Ethics vs Confucius

Published: 2021-06-29 02:10:10
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“A piece of advice, if I may be allowed to give it, is that no philosophy, no creed, no God is worth more than the love that one human being may give and receive in their lifetime”-Robert Cochrane (Johnson, 2009). Everyone has a personal code of ethics that guides them through life. Confucius had a fairly extensive code that guided him and then his followers, it is lengthy and to some, complicated. Mine on the other hand, is far briefer, it is compact, and simple.
A lot of people and businesses ethical codes stem from religious beliefs or what is culturally acceptable. Generally, people don’t even realize what impact ethics has on their day to day life. In the age of PETA and veganism, war, and woman’s rights, ethics has moved to the forefront of the world’s issues. As we begin to look into our day to day lives and the decisions we make, ethics continuously pops up. Whether it be ensuring our beauty products are not testing on animals, or checking our clothing companies for child labor, countless people are searching to become ethically conscious.
Confucius was the father of Confucianism and a famous Chinese philosopher. He had a set of traits that he believed would make someone a superior man, or in a sense a perfect person. He is famous for the birth of Confucianism and especially for the Golden Rule. My personal code of ethics doesn’t bring me anywhere close to being a superior, or perfect, person, but instead it helps me feel I am a virtuous person who is doing the correct thing.
My code of ethics has stemmed in part from my religious beliefs. I follow a more Pagan ideology and it has an enormous impact on my code. I try to follow what is called The Wiccan Rede. “Ever mind the rule of three, what ye send out comes back to the. This lesson well, though must learn, ye only get what ye do earn. Eight worlds the Wiccan Rede fulfill- an it harm none, do as ye will” (The Complete Wiccan Rede, 2010). Not only do I attempt to follow the rede, but I have my own personal rules for how I conduct myself. I aim to be kind, respectful, nonjudgmental, and honest to all people I come in contact with.
The rule of three from the Wiccan Rede is similar to the idea of karma. I believe that whatever I put out into the world will come back multiplied by three. If I put negativity out, I will receive negativity back. If I put out positivity, I will receive more positivity in my life. I follow the rule of three to help myself stay optimistic. If I am constantly putting negativity into the world my life will be continually filled with pessimism. This code supports my endeavors to maintain honesty, kindness, and respectfulness in my interactions.
The rede “an it harm none, do as ye will” (The Complete Wiccan Rede, 2010) symbolizes the idea of free will. It means that each person has the right to do whatever it is that they want, as long as it doesn’t bring any harm to anyone else. The desire to be able to do what I want is satisfied as long I ensure it isn’t bringing harm to someone else. This preserves my honesty, keeps me kind, and helps me stay respectful.
My desire to be kind, honest, nonjudgmental, and respectful stems from how I want others to treat me. I try to stay kind because I don’t want others to be cruel to me. I attempt to stay honest at all times because I don’t want to be lied to by the people around me. Being nonjudgmental is a big one for me because everyone walks a different path in life. I don’t believe any two people are the same and I don’t want to judge someone for their choices or actions because I don’t know their life. Respect goes hand in hand with being nonjudgmental in my opinion. People always say respect is earned but I believe it should be given to start. Everyone is different, everyone experiences different things, and I believe we should respect the path others are on, which in turn means respecting them.
A lot of my reasoning is similar to Confucius’ idea of the Golden Rule. While Confucius had many ideas of how to be a perfect, or superior person, the Golden Rule is one of his most famous teachings. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others” (Confucius, 1915). Confucius taught his followers how to be the superior man. He told them that they had to have purpose, poise, self-sufficiency, earnestness, thoroughness, sincerity, truthfulness, purity of thought and action, love of the truth, mental hospitality, rectitude, prudence, composure, fearlessness, ease and dignity, firmness, lowliness, to avoid sycophancy, that they had to have growth, capacity, openness, benevolence, broadmindedness, charity, moderation, and that they must reserve power (Confucius, 1915). Confucius believed in order to be more or less perfect, you needed to have all the above traits.
Confucius and I have some similarity in our ethical codes, but we also have large differences. I believe Confucius’ list of traits is a bit extreme. I don’t believe that in order to be good you must live in moderation, be firm, be lowly, or constantly keep your composure. Confucius’ ethical code would, in my opinion, set you up for constant failure. My ethical code, while short, is realistic and easy to follow. I don’t strive for perfection, or to be superior to others, but I do strive for the Golden Rule. I try to treat everyone how I want to be treated and I try to not put into the world what I don’t want the world to give back.
Ethics plays a large role in our lives, bigger than most realize. It effects how we treat others and how we justify our actions. It is found in both business and in our personal lives. Whether we notice it or not we all live our life by a code. Our codes can be religion based, or based on cultural norms, but no matter what each person has one. It can be simple like mine and easy to follow daily, or it can be complex like Confucius’ but no matter what everyone has a list of rules they live their life by.

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