Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows:

I suppose that maybe I was more insensitive at one time, before I became a Christian. My impression of Christianity is that it teaches sensitivity to the needs and plights of neighbours – including most anyone. Trying intentionally to learn to be a good Christian may even change your personality, opening you up to be more aware of how you might, could, should try to impact, help, work for others’ needs.

And all this Confucian ethics I’ve learned over the years centres on the key values of benevolence, righteousness, and fidelity in relationships, and says you have to practice these virtues in real application, if you want to learn virtue. These virtues are acquired through learning and repetitive ritual practice. You remain inclined towards self-interest but learn how to put others ahead of yourself in your actions. So say Xunzi (the Aristotle of Confucianism), Mencius (the Plato and Confucius (the Socrates), who all argued that human nature is bad. Badness is defined basically as self-interestedness. And both Jesus and Gandhi teach that it’s the sincere trying that counts, more than the succeeding. So, one’s obligation is to keep trying.

It therefore becomes especially hard to harden your heart, even in the face of years of someone’s intractability in opposition. More so when the person is close. I recall that was what Pharaoh did, hardening his heart against Moses and his Israelite slaves. It didn’t work out for Pharaoh, when he saw Red, as in the Red Sea. Hardening of one’s heart can be more than its own punishment.

And Moses and Pharaoh weren’t all that close.

About brucelarochelle
This entry was posted in Christianity, Confucianism, Judaism, Various life philosophies. Bookmark the permalink.

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