Part 1: The Ethical Conflict between Indulging Individual Freedom and a Well-ordered Society
This conflict can be seen in the case of Confucians against Western democracy or Judeo-Christians. Western countries including Europe and America seem to observe individual freedom at the expense of the entire society unlike Asian countries, which embrace the notion of a well-ordered society.
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For instance, enhanced standards of living, in countries that embrace individual freedom, such as America and Europe, are likely to be viewed in light of the size of the yard that an individual’s home covers and the number of channels that one can access from his TV. On the other hand, enhanced standards of living, in countries that embrace the notion of well-ordered societies, such as Asian countries, are likely to be viewed in light of societal issues like night security and the capacity to limit undesirable media content to children.
This conflict is as a result of realization, by Asians states, that they can do things equally with other cultures. The majority of present Neo-Confucianists spent their early lives in Asia, where Westerners ruled predominantly. At present, Neo-Confucianists want to overturn the cultural flow, in order to see the Americans concurring with them on some notions.
Part 2: How Different Religious and Philosophical or Cultural Perspectives Shape Moral Perceptions and Discernment
Confucian and Judeo-Christian ideas shape views of leaders in different ways. Lee, the leader of Singapore and a Confucian, feels that the Americans have deserted the ethical foundations of society. Therefore, he does all that he can, in order to ensure that such a situation does not show up in his territory. Besides, Lee orders policemen to keep a vigilant eye on Singapore, in order to ensure that people do not commit crimes such as littering and chewing gum (Reid 3).
The government of Lee, also, controls the savings of citizens by ordering them to secure a certain amount of their money and no one opposes this act. A number of Neo-Confucians say “the government of Lee is a pervasion of the sage’s teachings” (Reid 3). The same critics argue that Lee of Singapore and Mahathir of Malaysia twist Confucius ideals, in their territories, in order to safeguard their personal power.
The standpoint of Reid is that the authoritarian rule employed in Singapore is not part of Confucianism (3). This is because South Korea, which also embraces Confucianism, is a noisy and polluted state. However, Koreans claim to be no lesser Confucians than Singaporeans. Therefore, the outlook of Lee on Confucianism or Asian culture is for personal gains, because Confucians appreciate democracy.
On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson and Washington got influenced by Judeo-Christian ideals. Judeo-Christian virtues allow democracy since they embrace the virtue of individual freedoms. Besides, both leaders promoted activism during their reign, as an influence of the Judeo-Christian ideas.
Part 3: Reasons for a Course of Action Consistent with One’s Personal Moral Values
Obtaining the right balance between individual freedom and social order requires enjoying individual rights while not interfering with social order. For instance, adults may be allowed to view any TV channels that they desire, while limiting the content that get exposed to children. This can be a feasible way of balancing social order and individual freedom, as individuals will enjoy their freedom while maintaining a well-ordered society.
A well-ordered society, in this case, will appear because children will not be exposed to in appropriate material, such as violent video games and pornography, which are likely to cause undesirable behaviors like violence and crime, in the society. Such balance can be obtained from societies that embrace individual freedom, such as, Europe and America, since children’s rights to protection from abusive media can easily be incorporated into individual rights.
Part 4: The Alternate Perspective
Conversely, it would be hard to balance individual freedoms and social order in a Confucius society. This is because a Confucian, such as, Lee of Singapore leads by autocracy, and may not tolerate the notion of individual freedoms. Hence, it would be difficult to maintain a well-ordered society that, also, embraces individual freedoms, in such a territory.
Besides, it would be difficult to balance social order and liberty in a country like South Korea, which is extremely disorganized. South Korea, which also embraces Confucianism, is a noisy and polluted state. Hence, although South Koreans have democracy, it would be extremely difficult to balance individual freedoms and social order in a disorganized state.
Reid, TR. “Confucius Says Go East, Young Man: Many Asians Now Think Their Lives and Values Are Better Than the American Way.” The Washington Post 19 Nov. 1995: 3. Print.