Confucianism - Freedom and democracy 2.0
Is Confucianism a religion?
IV. A sidebar – Margaret Anscombe, Jonathan Haidt, and Sam Harris toward the psychology of morality
Kant and Bentham, Rawls and Mill sought to abstract morality from religious ideology. They proposed belief in universal reason and the greatest good for the greatest number. But now particularly in a diverse, plural world, we find universal reason … lacking and “the greatest good” sometimes not good enough. As Alasdair MacIntyre told us, a morality that is everywhere is the morality of no place. Morality is necessarily local, everywhere.
A virtue ethic – like early Christianity or Confucianism – avoids the universalist constraint. We can have a commandment to love one another, and we can have natural law and beatitudes, but we look to exemplars – those we can emulate – for instruction on what is moral in a particular situation. How do we learn to be the best human we can be?