Sample Question and Answer 215

Sample Question and Answer 215 - Although the loyalty and...

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Question: Explain the virtue of xiao. Why is it important for society? Does living according to xiao mean you have to obey your parents no matter what, even if they keep you locked in the basement your whole life? Why or why not? Answer: Xiao (filial piety) is the virtue of showing loyalty, reverence and obedience towards one s parents. It s important for societal development because Confucianism holds that all the major relationships have the same binary Superior-Subordinate pattern, so learning how to behave properly in one relationship has the consequence of learning how to behave properly in all of them. Since the Parent-Child relationship is just a smaller scale version of the Ruler-Subject one, children who are taught to be loyal towards their parents will also end up being loyal towards their rulers.
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Unformatted text preview: Although the loyalty and obedience towards one ’ s parents are supposed to be absolute, this doesn ’ t mean we must always follow their commands. Societal roles like “ father, ” “ ruler, ” and “ child ” are not just descriptions. They are descriptions + normative principles. To be a father, you need to both be related to a child and treat that child with benevolence. A “ father ” who locks his child up in a basement for years has in no way displayed benevolence towards his child. He has failed to fulfill the “ father ” normative principle and, thus, is not a father. Xiao, then, doesn ’ t apply and the child is not required to obey....
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2011 for the course PHIL 215 taught by Professor John during the Spring '11 term at Ohio State.

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