Philosophy and Religion
Central too Confucius’ idea of the nature of man is the notion that man is self determinism of a certain kind. Essentially, Confucius rejects the idea of a God in the actions of man and makes it his will alone that dictates action. In this, he places a moral code based upon the nature of man. This nature is deemed good. However, through living Confucius states that the nature of man will wander into selfish indulgence or abandonment if he is to not follow self-reflection and measure himself in relation to the moral code of nature (Kessler, 1992).
He describes this in various ways, all of which culminate in the individual reflecting and passing on wisdom and fortune to others in a bid to find peace. It is with this central premise of individual action and moral goodness that we can see that the example of Jonathan Milton has the more virtuous life. This is primarily because he has recognised himself and has openly passed on his wisdom and wealth to others without malice or spite.
However, we can see that John Sheron has abandoned his good nature by seeking and indulging his selfish desires while Christopher Smith has indulged a life of self abandonment by looking outwards to others rather than inwards towards oneself. We can see evidence for this in the example of Jonathan as he keeps his spirituality to himself and his spiritual life is not allowed to blinker his ideal of being outwardly good to others. His spirituality is part of his being, but not used to justify his nature. He shares his wealth and knowledge with his community and does not seek to attain any greater wealth than he already has.
In contrast, John is consumed by self attainment for the purposes of indulgence. Confucius would perhaps have no problem with a quest to create a successful life for oneself. However, in John’s rejection of others and use of his knowledge to serve himself, he does not utilise the natural moral code. He lacks virtue through not being willing to reflect upon himself and his actions. Nor does he wish to pass on any wisdom through teaching or choose the virtues of the gentleman. Rather, he wishes only to seek and indulge hedonism so that his role in relation to others is not upheld.
Essentially, he has no interest in the plight of others and wishes only to surmount their world through indulging debauchery. Contrastingly, Christopher has allowed his self to become lost in the significance of others. That is to say, that he has let the activities of others diminish his responsibility to himself and his own moral code. He openly blames them for the problems in his life and has become bitter. Furthermore, he has turned to the spiritual for guidance by requesting help from God, which also contradicts the teachings of Confucius in that one must seek out the one‘s own life in the natural and social order of things.
Essentially his source of action and responsibility in the world has been lost by praying for help. Essentially, his thoughts have become illogical and his life is without purpose. So we can see through that although good in origin, the latter two individuals have let evil warp their nature through not according to the moral code according to Confucius. Reference Kessler, Gary. , (1992) Voice of Wisdom, Multicultural Reader Belmont: WadsSample Essay of PapersOwl.com