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Philosophy and Ethnic Practices

The ethical standard that molded millions of Chinese in thousands of years is guided by the Chinese Golden Rule, “what you would not have others do unto you, do not unto them. ” The Golden Rule, also known as the Chinese jen was written by Confucius through his compilations of quotations and teachings in Analects. Today, although there is no exact English translation, Confucius’ jen is variously translated as “nobility,” “compassion,” “perfect virtue” ( James Legge), “moral life,” “moral character” ( Ku Hung-ming), “true manhood,” “sympathy” ( Lin Yutang), “human-heartedness” ( Derk Bodde), “man-to-manness” ( E.

R. Hughes), etc. Indian The English term “law of karma” is an accepted ethical thought in classical Indian philosophy of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, save for the Charvaka materialists. The main idea of karma is often understood that the natural order is a moral order in which events in a person’s life happen for the ethical reason of promoting a fair distribution of rewards and punishment. Every action and inaction will result to reward or punishment depending whether it earned good or bad karma. Japanese Japanese ethics is heavily influenced by Buddhism, Confucianism and Western culture.

Traditionally, the notions of on (personal obligation), giri (social obligation), ninjo (human feeling), gimu (legalistic obligation, and the like, are the main points of Japanese ethics. Moreover, the Buddhist thoughts of karma and compassion and Confucian thoughts of propriety and righteousness are also part of the ethical practices in Japan. Hebrew The Bible is the main source of the Hebrew/Jewish ethics, followed by rabbinical texts of Talmud, Talmudic Midrashim, and later Midrashim. The fundamental law of Jewish ethics follows the tenet; “You shall be holy, for I am holy”.

Rabbis believed that the highest happiness of a man is assured by a discernment of the deepest reason of morality and the highest sources of the good. They also held that it is an important moral task of a man to lose himself, heart and soul, in the contemplation of the highest reason of morality. Indigenous African Culture Throughout the years in traditional African ethics, it is the collective wisdom of the ancestors and elders that makes up the bases and points of decisions made by the individual or community. The main concern of African ethics is the supervision of life and preservation of well-being within the society.

Individual choices made are within the perspective of the community, and judged and assessed based on the outcome that they have on the life of the community. Thus tradition dictates that those who have committed shameful or immoral deeds must be ‘cleansed’ first before they can come back into the community. Greek Prevalent Greek ethical theories are theories on the quest on finding happiness in life. Greek philosophers after Socrates believe happiness or living well is an object of desire and a purpose of action.

Thus every human being wishes to live a good life and all actions of a person should be heading for on having a good life. Roman Two major Roman ethical standards known are Epicureanism and Stoicism. Epicureanism’s main notion is that all people in their natural instinct look for a pleasant life and that the best way to it is by living a life of moderate satisfaction. Whereas, Stoicism held that material world is a “world independent of our will” and that life will be less problematic and peaceful if it is not attached in false desires for worldly things. Christian

The core of the moral guidelines of Christianity can be highlighted on the following major points: the pursuit of Christian ends through non-violent acts; readiness to forgive those injure, offend or harm; having harmonious relationship among Christian believers as part of moral growth; a strong relationship and belief with God as the father; and a great faith that Jesus will return soon to save the people from their sins and bring a sudden end to the material world. Native American The Native American Indians have their code of ethics mainly focusing on respect and unity among the tribe members.

This is shown on their high respect to the elders, parents and community leaders, not touching another’s property or meddling with another’s privacy. They are also discouraged to interrupt into a conversation by talking to one of the persons conversing or passing between them, talk in high voice especially with the elders or to an unknown guest. References: Einhorn, L. J. (2000). The Native American Oral Tradition: Voices of the Spirit and Soul. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. Kearney, R & Dooley, M. (1999). Questioning Debates in Philosophy. London: Routledge. Lazarus, M. & Szold, H. (1900).

The Ethics of Judaism. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America. Moore, C. A. (1968). The Chinese mind: Essentials of Chinese Philosophy and Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press Oakeley, H. D & Dent. (1925). Greek Ethical Thought Homer to the Stoics. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. Perrett, R. W. (1998). Hindu ethics: A Philosophy Study. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Prozesky, M. Comparative Ethics. Retrieved March 23, 2009 from www. ethics. unp. ac. za/links/EVE%20Comp%20Ethics. doc Wargo, R. J. (1990). Japanese Ethics: Beyond Good and Evil. Philosophy East & West, 40, 1-11.

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