on 2009年05月22日 by Simon Kong in 经管·职业, 评论 (1),

孔子的生态伦理观

Preamble

The year 1998, two-thirds of Nobel Prize winners who are still alive had had a meeting in Paris, and the meeting began with this declaration, “If human beings want to continue to survive in the 21st century, we must go back to more than 2500 years ago, to understand the wisdom of Confucius in ancient China.” “The wisdom of Confucius” should mainly refer to Confucius and Confucianism.

In Analects, “天” appears 19 times, “命” appears 21 times, “天命” appears 2 times.
The character 天 in Chinese, can be translated in many ways, such as the God, Sky, Heaven.

孔子曰:“君子有三畏:畏天命,畏大人,畏圣人之言。小人不知天命而不畏也,狎大人,侮圣人之言。” ——《论语·季氏第十六》
Confucius said, “There are three things of which the superior man stands in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of sages.The mean man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is disrespectful to great men. He makes sport of the words of sages.”

The ordinances of the world is an irresistible objective, such as changes in times of the year, all the living creature has own laws. People can only accept it, spring planting, then we can harvest in auturm; people can just adapt to it, keeping cool in heating summer, and keeping warm during cold winter, then we can get rid of the diseases. If we are against this, we can not do good job in food production, and are also difficult in guaranteeing the health level , it’s just like killing ourselves.

The mean people will never know the ordinances of everything’s development. So they will do anything they like. Because of them, not human relations was ruined, but also the relations between people and nature are ruined.

So there comes series of so-called “moral crisis”, “faith crisis” and “ecological crisis” phenomenon. Confucius regard “knowing the ordinances 知命畏天” as the virtues of gentlemen, and a standard distinguishing gentlemen and the mean men.

有子曰:礼之用,和为贵。先王之道斯为美。小大由之,有所不行。知和而和,不以礼节之,亦不可行也。 ——《论语·学而第一》
A philosopher said, “In practicing the rules of propriety, harmony is to be prized. In the ways prescribed by the ancient kings, this is the excellent quality, and in things small and great we follow them, yet it is not to be observed in all cases. If one, knowing how such harmony should be prized, manifests it, without regulating it by the rules of propriety, this likewise is not to be done.”

Differentiation and differences are the premise of harmony. They are the nature of life, and because of them, the world has become so rich and varied. But they must go through the steps of being harmonious. So the real meaning of harmony by Confucius is that things among which there are differences and contradictions do not only allow the coexistence of each other, but are totally complementary symbiosis.

In the eco-system, each individual is factor that matters, and factors affect each other, and jointly create their own living environment, the human beings are also included. 子曰:“和而不同。”meaning that different creatures can live together in harmony.

Frugality is the traditional virtue of Chinese, and is also a kind of moral character.When it comes to the nature, frugality evolves kind of ecologically emotional care.

子钓而不纲,弋不射宿。——《论语·述而第七》
Confucius angled, but did not use a net. He shot, but not at birds perching.

Confucius gave us a good example of spreading the concept of sustainable development, not only sustainable for the people, but for the animals. This is a deep ecological awareness, and also reveal his kindness.

子曰:“骥不称其力,称其德也。” ——《论语·宪问第十四》
Confucius said, “A horse is called a JI, not because of its strength, but because of its other good qualities.”

Do horses also have moral rights? Most people love horse, only to use it as a tool, because it’s profitable. Confucius thought that horses as well as people, have their own virtues.People should not only make use of the animals but also respect them. It is kind of the ecological value of equality!

Nowadays, although the level of productivity has greatly increased, people’s living conditions has greatly improved, but in order to protect the environment, we must promote the consumption concept from the angle of ecological thrift vigorously.

子曰:“知者乐水,仁者乐山。”——《论语·雍也第六》
Confucius said, “The wise find pleasure in water; the virtuous find pleasure in hills.”

We could see Confucius’ attitude about the relationship between cultivating spirits of ”pleasure in water and hills” and being a gentleman. From which we can also found that Confucian ethics and ecological ethics are the same. A man who has ethics must also enjoy the beautiful scenes.

It should be noted that this ideal education of Confucius is very far-sighted. although many reasons should be accounted for deterioration of the environment of today, the rulers of a number of countries lack the spirits of “pleasure in water and hills“. What they care about is the pursuit of immediate interests, regardless of life and death of future generations. On the one hand, their effort resulted in an unprecedented economic prosperity, but on the other hand, serious environmental problems arise so rapidly.

Conclusion

“The Analects of Confucius” shows a great wealth of ecological wisdom, no matter it’s from the angle of nature, existence, life or aesthetics. It provides us useful resources and inspiration in handling the relationship between man and nature, and building a harmonious society to create ecological civilization.


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一条评论

  1. 午夜兰花手札

    2010年02月24日 @ 11:58

    太棒了,竟然是中英双语的。收藏之,以便“学而时习之”。

    [回复]

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