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yuuichi

Why should the son obey the father?

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It’s just an example, but when I think about Confucianism, I just think about corrupt Chinese officials and strict parents who expect obedience and respect from others just because of the situation, not because they’re objectively deserving of obedience or respect. I also see from Confucian cultures that just because someone is old means that they deserve respect. Why did Confucius teach this? Why does an immoral old person deserve more respect than a virtuous young person? Surely one should respect someone based upon their virtues, not their age.

 

In a Confucian society, it is very patriarchal (dependant upon the eldest male of the family). So if the entire family is virtuous, but the eldest male (usually the father) is drunk and immoral, then that means that all family members live a poor quality of life, just due to the actions of the eldest male of the household, and all the virtues of the other family members mean nought. Why do the Confucians think this is ok? I’m sure they can say that it is the responsibility of the other family members to help or change the father, but everyone knows most old people are very averse to change, especially changing themselves, and in patriarchal societies, the eldest male would not like being offered help from those not on his level (which is just human nature).

Edited by yuuichi
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6 hours ago, yuuichi said:

It’s just an example, but when I think about Confucianism, I just think about corrupt Chinese officials and strict parents who expect obedience and respect from others just because of the situation, not because they’re objectively deserving of obedience or respect.

if you want to understand these obvious  matters, you have to first ask yourself 'why  am I thinking about them at all'?  

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In theory, elders and leaders are bastions of wisdom and experience.

In life, abstractions like theory break down.

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4 minutes ago, steve said:

In theory, elders and leaders are bastions of wisdom and experience.

In life, abstractions like theory break down.

I have seen that so often in life that I almost want it to be an absolute truth.

 

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One is responsible for their own role. Whether the elder is a crappy ex of fatherhood or not ,the son can still be the respectful obedient second in command. 

My own parents were ... not prepared for the role .....should I have tried to fix their ways and attitudes while at their mercy? Or even after ? I think not. I think the son should still play that role with dignity grace and restraint.

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4 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

if you want to understand these obvious  matters, you have to first ask yourself 'why  am I thinking about them at all'?  

 

Because I want to understand Confucianism, but when I read the general ideas of Confucianism, it appears to be about blind obedience .

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36 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

why?

 

I’m just curious. I thought Confucianism was just an obsolete load of nonsense, but then you said you were a Confucian. And you seem like an intelligent person, so maybe there’s something to it that I misunderstand.

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I enjoyed the movie 'Crazy Rich Asians'.  It dealt with this question.  Where an American born Chinese woman, who was a professor in game theory, had to deal with meeting a very strict would be mother in law.  Who was adamant not to let her son marry the woman because Americans/The West look first to there own pleasure, whereas in the 'traditional' East Family was always put above all else. 

 

in a stacked game you win by limiting your losses and losing with grace.

 

It's not just the East.  Judeo-Christian has obey, actually honor your father and mother as a main commandment.  We seem to be hardwired to spend our lives alternatively rebelling and becoming our parents.   During the rebellion stages, its good to show respect and listen to them.   They should have more experience and hopefully more wisdom then us.  

 

That's not to say you shouldn't go your own way.  Listen, be respectful, even seek some compromise.  When the chips are down no one will ever support you like your family.  What seem stifling is usually being over protective.    Sometimes just showing that you've listened and considered there side, is enough to allow you set your own course without overly hard feelings. 

 

Confucianism always felt overly rigid to me, but there's some good wisdom there. 

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I'm not sure what's being spoken of in the OP is truly Confucian teaching. Not that I really know, having barely read any Confucian works...but with the little that I do know, it seems like they wouldn't advocate a kind of blind obedience which destroys family and society, leading to corruption and empty gestures of respect for those who you think are undeserving of it.

...

 

BTW, here are a few texts that look very informative to me, and seem to really elucidate the meanings of things like "filail piety":

https://www.amazon.com/Analects-Selections-Traditional-Commentaries-Translated-ebook/dp/B003GEKKXO/

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Analects-Confucius-Translation-Annotations-ebook/dp/B01N6ZQEJN/

https://www.amazon.com/Original-Analects-Brooks/dp/0231104316/
I haven't read these books, but they're next on my wishlist.

 

Also, to read the Analects for free: http://tls.uni-hd.de/projectDescription/texts/texts_TLS.lasso and go to Lunyu.

...

Something that I've learned when growing up...parents have a lot more life experience than us, and they see our life from two perspectives simultaneously: 1) caring more about our wellbeing and future than their own, 2) seeing our situations from an outsider's vantage point. In the moment when things are happening in our lives, we might think their advice is really poor since they obviously don't know what's going on for us...but they see our situations from a broader perspective, like an eagle flying above, whereas we see them from the first person immediate perspective. Listening to no one but ourselves, we only see what's right in front of us, and don't see dangers or opportunities even a few feet away. We basically live our lives like nearly blind people...so, listening to those who have our backs more so than anyone else in the world, who can give us an outsider's perspective, is good.

 

(I find this thought pretty funny and true: parents are the only people in the world who will talk shit to your face yet speak highly of you behind your back. Everyone else you will meet in life is the exact opposite.)

Think about the idea of strict parents who make their kids work hard at homework every day, rather than having fun with friends...versus parents who let their kid go play with friends right after school. The former kid will end up being much more intelligent, won't be morally corrupted, will have better opportunities open up for the future, will be used to hard work and doing what it takes. The latter kid might end up doing drugs, getting STDs, getting fired from a job, having doors closed on them due to their past.

In the moment, it seems like the strict parents are horrible...in the broader perspective, they were helping their kid. In the moment it seems like the parents who let their kid play were very nice and loving...in the broader perspective, they might have contributed to the kid's failures later in life.

Parents aren't always right about everything...but watch the dynamic of your relationship with them change once you start considering their advice...they are no longer horrible and strict, but are your helpers. Watch how you change...for the better, in all ways.

Edited by Aetherous
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46 minutes ago, thelerner said:

It's not just the East.  Judeo-Christian has obey, actually honor your father and mother as a main commandment.  We seem to be hardwired to spend our lives alternatively rebelling and becoming our parents.   During the rebellion stages, its good to show respect and listen to them.   They should have more experience and hopefully more wisdom then us.  

 

I don’t think this is an East-West thing at all. I don’t think East and West exists in this modern world. For example, in China and Japan they love American sports, American festivals (like thanksgiving, Christmas and halloween) listen to American music and watch American television, etc. They love Western brands and Western fashion. Chinese people (at least the young people) think very similar to American people and act very similar to American people, in my experience (i’m not American, but it is my observation).

 

Also, historically, Ancient Roman and Ancient Greek society were very similar to this Confucian ideal of a strict hierarchy.

 

42 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

In the moment, it seems like the strict parents are horrible...in the broader perspective, they were helping their kid. In the moment it seems like the parents who let their kid play were very nice and loving...in the broader perspective, they might have contributed to the kid's failures later in life.

 

Personally, I think strict parents just do this (especially in Asian societies) so they can have someone to live off during their old age, and so they can brag to other parents how their son/daughter is a doctor/lawyer/engineer/etc, or attended a prestigious school somewhere. This showing off is just a selfish ego-boost (I raised my son/daughter better than you). Or to put it in another way, which parent would be happier? The parent who raised a son who went to become a doctor, but who hates his job, or the parent who raised a son to leave school early and take a low-paying job which he likes and likes his low-paying but comfortable lifestyle? In my experience, the first parent will always be happier, so he or she can show off to other parents that his/her son is a doctor (and therefore better than you).

 

49 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

I find this thought pretty funny and true: parents are the only people in the world who will talk shit to your face yet speak highly of you behind your back. Everyone else you will meet in life is the exact opposite.)

 

See above

 

50 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

Something that I've learned when growing up...parents have a lot more life experience than us, and they see our life from two perspectives simultaneously

 

Life experience, yes. But their life experience in their generation does not apply to this generation at all. And life experience in this generation will not apply to the next generation. 

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13 hours ago, yuuichi said:

So if the entire family is virtuous, but the eldest male (usually the father) is drunk and immoral,

Seems like he is not so immoral

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3 hours ago, yuuichi said:

Why

Because you say that his family is moral but he, the head of that family  is immoral.  How can that be?

A man who got a moral girl to wed him; who raised his children to be moral; who clothes, shelters and feeds his family - but you call him an immoral person? You really need to examine your personal reasons for this kind of thinking.

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1 hour ago, Taoist Texts said:

Because you say that his family is moral but he, the head of that family  is immoral.  How can that be?

A man who got a moral girl to wed him; who raised his children to be moral; who clothes, shelters and feeds his family - but you call him an immoral person? You really need to examine your personal reasons for this kind of thinking.

 

 I disagree. 

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On 11/5/2018 at 12:43 AM, yuuichi said:

Why do the Confucians think this is ok?


All of this was developed during the time of building civilizations, which followed a long time of human development and observation.

The change to "patriarchal" society is a result of increasing trade, and distance of that trade, and this is trade between factions of civilization.

 

The YinYang of "Human" is Male/Female.

 

Woman is the center of human creation. Man comes to the woman. The woman with children will stabilize within the richness of her environment and feed the child. 

 

Man has no internal experience of direct creation like this, so is less attached to any ground, and must seek that kind of involvement with the world externally, in actions and interactions with others, including with Woman.

 

Natural order shows that the baby is not the expert. The oldest people are.

 

Fu Hsi shows us the progression, and associates it to seasons and all other phenomena.

 

In modern people, this natural order has been destroyed, and families separated into consumer/citizen "individuals" with all the attendant propaganda required to achieve this.

 

Modern order uses TV to bring the opinion of the baby into the forefront, ruining the judgment, the discerning ability, of the whole family. Father is made to be "Homer Simpson" - an idiot.

 

So, with discernment gutted, and natural human growth hierarchy re-arranged into nonsense, they are put into "houses" - each with their own room, as "individuals", now hooked up to their own electronic consumer "feeds" of influence.

You can spend a lifetime sorting through the leaves of that tree.

 

Better to examine the roots and trunk.

 

People today who want to understand natural order in humanity need to study and understand the past very well.

 

And to be able to distinguish what is real, and what is just a popular or common "idea".

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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Kǒng Fūzǐ ism = good pension plan

 

It appears not only baby boomers are/were obsessed with having proper pension plans. 

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