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Reflective Diary 2: Ethics: Greek Mythology: Mohamed Yusuf Mohamed

Reflective Diary: Ethics We learnt about ethics this week according to three different cultures: Chinese, Persian and Japanese. I shall just mention about each of them and explain them a bit before I talk about Greek mythology. Confucius is well known as the one who came up with ethical codes and conduct in China. The Chinese’s ethical codes emphasize on self-cultivation and emulation of moral examples. One of Confucius’ main teachings was “What you don’t wish upon yourself, don’t do unto others”.

Chinese early philosophers tried to solve practical problems rather than theoretical ones. They tried to bring peace and stability. Confucians are deontologists. They believe in existence constraints on the promotion of good. The Persians followed Zarasthura. He was their prophet and founder of the ethical codes. The three main ethical principles of Zarasthura are: a) Good thoughts b) Good words c) Good deeds. Fire is considered as a symbol of good to the Zoroastrians due to the light it emits. We also learnt a lot about the Japanese. They have high ethical codes and conducts. They have a good level of discipline.

Our lecturer, Mr. Hamid, gave us a story of how disciplined they are. While he was travelling to Hiroshima by plane from Tokyo, he went to board the plane an hour before departure time. The receptionist told him to come when it’s twenty minutes before departure time. He was shocked. Well, he was supposed to. It normally takes a long time for all the passengers to get on board and be seated. But not the Japanese. Within ten minutes everyone was seated. Also, they are very good in terms of cleanliness and politeness is so complex to them. They don’t maintain eye contact with anyone, it is considered very rude.

They view work as a collective and individual responsibility. The Japanese, also, don’t have a direct no, as it is considered very offensive. The Japanese are very unique. Despite being deeply ethical, they are also developed in terms of technology. The main reason for this is that the regard ethical behavior much higher than wealth and development.

Greek mythology is the body of myths and teachings that belong to the ancient Greeks; concerning their gods and heroes and the nature of the world. We’ll begin the story to the time of Zeus and Cronus. Zeus was the son of Cronus. Cronus feared that his offspring might betray him and so each time his wife Rhea gave birth, he snatched up the child and ate eat. The wife hated this and tricked him by hiding Zeus and wrapping a stone in a baby’s blanket, which Cronus ate. When Zeus was fully grown he poisoned his father and he vomited, throwing up Rhea’s other children. Zeus then challenged Cronus to war for the kingship of the gods. With the help of Cyclopes (whom Zeus freed from Tartarus). Zeus and his siblings were victorious while Cronus and the Titans (Cronus’ siblings) were imprisoned in Tartarus.

The new gods and goddesses (Olympians) resided atop mount Olympus under the eye of Zeus. Beside the Olympians, the Greeks also worshipped other gods e.g Dryads. Each of the aforementioned gods pursues different interests, has a certain area of expertise and is governed by a unique personality. Most gods were associated with specific aspects of life. For example, Hades was the god of the dead in the underworld (Tartarus), Poseidon was the god of the waters, Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, Ares was the god of war, Athena was the goddess of wisdom and courage.

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