Teaching Ethics

singing

One of the first songs Max learnt in Chinese translates as follows: “Mother, father go to work. I go to kindergarten. I don’t cry. I don’t scream. I say hi to the teacher.” In China this type of overt behavioral propaganda is an intrinsic part of education. Since China is an atheistic culture, morality is fundamentally humanistic. To learn to act ethically, to distinguish good and bad, Chinese children are told ancient parables whose form is exemplified by the story: ‘The older brother gave the younger brother the bigger pear’. However inconceivably to the Western mind, no reason, justification or reward is attached to such model behavior.

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