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Ethics and the Ancient civilizations of China, Persia and Japan by Hassan

Our previous classes we learnt about the western ethics (Greece), this week agenda discovered the philosophy and ethical thought in eastern countries especially three great Asian civilizations which are China, Persia, and Japan.

The new lesson was mainly focusing on the conceptualization of ethics in different cultures for instance the above three great civilizations of china, Persia and Japan. Each of these civilizations showed amazing ethical behaviors that its community used during their ages.

Firstly, the lecturer started with China. We discussed that in the past the dominant thinker in China was Confucius. And we understood that Confucius is the ethical teaching that emphasize on self-cultivation and emulation of moral. Confucius’s teaching is considered as Chinese example of humanism.  Basically, the Confucius stressed that what we do not wish to ourselves, do not do to others. It was said that in the Confucius time, there were no distinction between ethics and politics. From this statement I got an understanding that during that time, all politicians always took into account the ethical aspect in everything they did. The people in the politics were very ethical because they did not work for themselves, but they worked for the people. The politicians were the most behaved persons in China at that time. I just cannot imagine how the world would be if all today’s politicians in this world behaved like that. Nowadays, not only politicians but other profession such as lawyers, economist, educators, scientist, and even the smallest labors has forgotten and kept aside the ethics and morality elements in doing their job.

Secondly, we continued our lecture to Persian ethical thoughts which is the present day known as Iran. About 3.5 thousand years ago in Persia, there were a group of people called Zoroaster who lived under three ethical principles: good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.  I think this is logical because once someone has a good thought; he will be saying good words only and may lead him to good deeds/actions.

And finally the lecture came to an end by explaining Japanese art of ethics. Japan which is currently a role model for most of the countries in this world, we stated that the ethical aspect of Japanese society is reflected through their discipline, cleanliness, politeness, workplace, and culture. Japan has been able to enter modernity and become the leading center of technology and at the same time retain its ethical essence.

 In my view, this has something to do with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 since those two cities are one of the centers of activities in Japan. When they were destroyed, it resulted in economic, political, and other activities becoming paralyzed. Thus, it brought the spirit of all Japanese to unite and build up their country again from zero. That spirit and unity has been transmitted from generation to generation and becoming stronger and stronger until today they made their country one of the best of all.

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