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Ethics – Eastern and Western Philosophy

Ethics – Eastern and Western Philosophy

Ethics often refer to the established standards by a particular group and dictate what is right and wrong; therefore, it regulates the behaviour of members of the identified group (Boss, 2019). Philosophical ethics are also called moral philosophy and go beyond the concept of what is right and wrong. Thus, ethics is a discipline of philosophy that studies the values and guidelines that govern how people live and analyzes and evaluates these guidelines in terms of accepted universal principles. Generally, there is a tendency to associate ethics with morality and cultural customs or norms, including religion (Boss, 2019).

On the other hand, philosophy is the love of knowledge or wisdom. According to Socrates, the founder of Western philosophy, knowledge is essential in finding self-happiness and harmony and, in turn, intellectual and moral development of society (Boss, 2019). The philosophy also focuses on finding the truth about people’s beliefs. Western philosophers include Plato, Hume, Ross, and Bentham. Most of them believe that reason (the power to distinguish between the ‘general’ from the ‘specific’) is the major source of knowledge.

Conversely, eastern philosophy focuses on addressing the questions of the meaning of life and aspects that make life valuable. Eastern philosophies include Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. For Buddhists, philosophical morals are centred on the interconnection of all aspects of life and the significance of extending these moral values to all living things such that the world lives harmoniously and peacefully. Therefore, this philosophy utilizes logic and reasoning.

These differences occur due to the differences in beliefs, cultural values, and social norms people uphold. For instance, eastern philosophers maintain that innate happiness is what drives good behaviour or goodwill in people. On the other hand, western philosophers argue that respect for others and all living things drives moral behaviour in people. Additionally, from an Eastern philosophy perspective, philosophy encourages questioning the beliefs individuals uphold (Boss, 2019). Therefore, if people question the truth about their beliefs and norms, they are likely to develop different opinions; thus, these differences (western and Eastern philosophy differences) are inevitable.

References

Boss, J. (2019). Ethics for Life: A Text with Readings (7th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

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Question 


Eastern and Western Philosophy

Eastern and Western Philosophy

Religion is a factor in how people view Ethics. Describe two differences between “Eastern” and “Western” philosophy. Then, explain why these differences might occur.

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