Consequentialism And Mozi's Social Ethics

2465 Words10 Pages
The general explanation for Consequentialism is “the view that morality is all about producing the right kinds of overall consequences” (Chase, 2016). Mozi’s social ethics is consequentialist as he suggested the basic standard to judge whether a superior fulfill righteousness is whether he can bring benefits to people (Zhang, 2016) and he suggested people should practice all-embracing love so as to reach harmonious social performance. Likewise, Confucius’s social ethics is as consequentialist as is Mozi’s as he pursued the best consequences to the society. For instance, Confucius mentioned if people was led by laws and bound by punishments, although they would not commit crime, they would not shame; when people was led by morality and bound…show more content…
A Confucian should treat Ren as more morally basic than Li as Ren is a moral intuition that fundamental to the practice of Li. In the Analects (12.22), Confucius said Ren is to love all men, which means that respect others are the basic of Ren. It is the highest standard of ethics that Confucian want to achieve. And later Mencius introduced the theory of original goodness of human nature and said the heart of sympathy is the root of Ren that everyone has the basis to achieve Ren (Mengzi 3.6). This shows that Ren is innate in our mind, what we should do is to practice Li to restrict our behavior so as to achieve Ren. At the same time, Li is the external standards and requirements (Yan 2010, p.346) to guide our behavior and it is about our own customs and traditions that may changing over time. In the Analects (3.3), Confucius said: “If a man is not Ren, then what can his Li be like?” This shows that Ren should come before Li and Li should be the concrete form of Ren in guiding our moral…show more content…
Totalitarian and authoritarian relates to centralized and dictatorial government that requires people strictly obey to them and lacking concern for opinions of others (Oxford, 2016). Mozi pointed out that there would be natural disasters if people agree with moral judgments of the Son of Heaven but not up to Heaven itself (Mozi, ch.12). In his view, the Heaven likes righteousness and hate the opposite that gives the standard to the emperor to rule the world (Mozi, ch.26). If there is tyranny, the Heaven would punish the king. This shows that the Son of Heaven does not have the absolute power to rule the world. Only when he leads well he have the authority, otherwise he may lose it. Meanwhile, to concur with the moral judgments of the emperor does not mean that he is authoritarian or totalitarian as we naturally agree with something that may bring us benefits and oppose the one that may harm us. Mozi argues all should agree with the Son of Heaven but the precondition is that the Son of Heaven is right and follow the standard of Heaven and so he is not a totalitarian or authoritarian.

Some may argue that Mozi is a totalitarian or authoritarian because he argues that all should agree with the moral judgments of the Son of Heaven. Once the unified standard is established

More about Consequentialism And Mozi's Social Ethics

Open Document