This was part of my "Whore fornicates with the Beast" series in Hawkaw's UN thread, which is now down.
While the invoking of a false religion's teachings and philosophy is bad enough, don't overlook the purpose behind this document. All of this is for the purpose of drectly influencing legislation in certain Asian countries. I believe that is called "being involved in politics".
THE TEACHINGS OF CONFUCIUS: A BASIS AND JUSTIFICATION FOR ALTERNATIVE NON-MILITARY CIVILIAN SERVICE
Carolyn R. Wah*
Over the centuries the teachings of Confucius have been quoted and misquoted to support a wide variety of opinions and social programs ranging from the suppression and sale of women to the concerted suicide of government ministers discontented with the incoming dynasty. Confucius's critics have asserted that his teachings encourage passivity and adherence to rites with repression of individuality and independent thinking.1
The case is not that simple. A careful review of Confucius's expressions as preserved by Mencius, his student, and the expressions of those who have studied his teachings, suggests that Confucius might have found many of the expressions and opinions attributed to him to be objectionable and inconsistent with his stated opinions. In part, this misunderstanding of Confucius and his position on individuality, and the individual's right to take a stand in opposition to legitimate authority, results from a distortion of two Confucian principles; namely, the principle of legitimacy of virtue, suggesting that the most virtuous man should rule, and the principle of using the past to teach the present.2
Certainly, even casual study reveals that Confucius sought political stability, but he did not discourage individuality or independent action. Thus, while he was in favor of harmony, Confucius did not advocate conformity and blind obedience.
This article takes the central theme that Confucius' teachings support the individual's natural and inherent right and responsibility to exercise his conscience and have such right protected by governmental authority. The paper is divided into four parts. After a brief discussion of Confucius, his family, personal background, and the political conditions in which he lived, the article will discuss the major themes in Confucius' philosophy and addresses some of the more controversial issues as they withstood the test of time.
Part II discusses how Confucius' fundamental teachings on the five relationships, and the individual's relationship to legitimate authority have been used, misused, attacked and distorted over the centuries.
Part III investigates three specific applications of Confucius' teachings that demonstrate that the thesis presented in the paper; namely, that Confucius' teachings support the individual's natural and inherent right and responsibility to oppose legitimate governmental authority when the governmental authority is out of harmony with the moral sense of the individual, is well-supported.
Finally, Part IV investigates the recent Taiwan legislation and the application of Confucian thought to freedom of conscience and the question of participation in non-military service when the applicant holds strong religious or morally founded objections to service. It concludes with the suggestion that such legislation should be considered in Korea and all other Asian countries with strong Confucian traditions. This discussion is conducted keeping in mind the principle that Confucianism, like the world's other great philosophical legal and religious traditions, is neither static nor monolithic, but is a gradually maturing tradition.
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