After Mr. Hamid explained the lecture on Eastern Ethics, I have gained some knowledge of eastern philosophers’ background and their ethical practices and theories. The lecture covered the ethical theories from some of eastern philosophers such as Confucius from China, Zarathustra from Iran and also at last I learned about Japanese ethics and values which are from Confucius’s ethical practices as well.
Confucius is a Chinese philosopher, a teacher and also a politician. He has contributed to help Chinese society during that time to wake up from disorder and immoral situations. By relating his ethical theories to educational, social and political aspects, China became so prosperous and Confucius himself became so famous and acknowledgeable by the nation. He acknowledged the society that run by educated people and he totally preferred morality to be main thing to obtain security and nourishment of society and country. Furthermore, he had exposed to the nation with many ethical concepts and practicality.
In class, lecturer provided one quote from Confucius that “What do you not wish for yourself, do not do to others”. Regarding this quote, I can perceive that his theory substantiated for people to not think about harming others in any purposes. What they don’t wish for themselves must be not good things, so either do not do any bad things to others as well.
Honestly, I am really interested in Confucius’s ideas on ethical and political concepts. From my past experience learning about him, I knew that he is a person who perfectly concerns and values on decent behaviors. Furthermore, he demanded of having examination for students in the purpose of testing the real intelligence of the person who will take lead to manage the country in the future.
Moreover, the class also paid attention to Zarathustra, the philosopher from Persia or Iran today. He is a prophet and a founder. Similarly to Confucius, Zarathustra also had attention to the practicality enforcement of the ethical theories. His book titled “Avesta” in 1200 BCE was expressed deeply about cultural and ethical practice during the time of Persia. By the way, he had three main points of ethical theories that are good thoughts, good words and good deeds; for that there were some relations to bring Islamic Religion to Persia or Iran.
In addition, the lecturer also provided the class with several insights of Japanese ethical practices and ethical values by relating them to the real situations that he had encountered during his 3 years stay in Japan. As a matter of fact that Japan ethical values are very significant to learn about; there are several ethical values and practices in Japan explained by Mr. Hamid such as disciplines, cleanliness, politeness, eyes and facial expressions, working in collective and individual responsibilities, no direct “No”, metal preparation for earthquake and typhoon, ethical relationship with foreign language and Japan high-tech.
Among these practices, ethical relationship with foreign language caught my attention the most, due to the story told by Mr. Hamid about one Japanese guy who accompanied and helped him to open bank account. The Japanese guy carried three big dictionaries along with him because he thought that if there were technical terms in the bank field were used, he would not be able to understand and translate correctly, which means Japanese guy was very thoughtful and did not want to make any mistakes at all when he decided to help foreigners. For this point, I felt that Japanese people are good at hospitality and handling somebody’s favor.
On the other hand, there is one question to reflect on Japan: “If Japan has been able to enter modernity, be a leading of technology, and at the same time retain its ethical essence, how did it achieve that?”
My response is the success in modernity, technology, and ethical essences are led by Japanese people’s personality. Because of natural disasters occur frequently in Japan; the lessons from past experiences taught them to find ways to prevent themselves and that appears to change Japan to modernity even though they are very traditional. Additionally, Japanese’s personality of creativity and innovative habits derived themselves to become a leader of technology too, and at the same time they need to finds safe ways to protect themselves from jeopardy of nature. To keep spacing, and to meet living demand; further knowledge, experiments and innovations have massively developed. Moreover, ethical essence is also intertwined with personality of Japanese of having strong discipline, regulations and high respect attitude to one another.
All in all, I perceive that ethical practices and theories from eastern philosopher as well as Greek philosophers are majorly pinpoint human to think wisely before they do something to themselves and other people as considering to the good and evil. From that, I also have thought that all the mentioned philosophers from week three and week four lectures have interrelated ideas to the same topic of good and evil and too they tried to prove and predicate human-being to have a sense of willing to be good to explore the actual meaning of Ethics. Besides, I have two question attempted to ask the lecturers that: Can Ethical theories of one philosopher are applicable to people in every corner of the world? And what are the reasons to be considered on a philosopher to become a religion of the country? For example: Confucius is a religion in China.
Tuesday, 05th February, 2013
Name: SREY SOKKANITHA MOK
Lecture’s topic: Eastern Ethics
Lecture by: Mr. Hamid