Dasan’s Theory of Human Nature: View of Ethics

June 2, 2008

Benevolence, righteousness, civility, and wisdom are formed around corresponding conduct.  Therefore, benevolence can be achieved only when one loves others; before this love, benevolence does not exist.  After one commits a good act, one can recognize righteousness.  Before he so acts, righteousness does not exist…How can it be asserted that benevolence, righteousness, civility, and wisdom are inherent in human mind, like seeds in a peach or apricot?

Korean Philosophy it’s Tradition and Modern Transformation p. 363

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3 Responses to “Dasan’s Theory of Human Nature: View of Ethics”

  1. michaellgooch said

    Do you post responses that disagree with the article? If so, I will offer my take on this issue. The statement, “Before he so acts, righteousness does not exist” I believe to be flawed. I believe righteousness exists within each of us before we act, after we act or whether we act at all. For me, ethics in the workplace is varying shades of gray. You have to rely on moral law, that is, does it ‘feel’ wrong? It’s easy to say, “There is right, and there is wrong.” In my management book, Wingtips with Spurs, I address these issue in detail. All major corporations have their written code of conduct. Each one is pretty much just a copy of the others and is a major dust bunny. The next time you walk into someone’s office, ask to see the company code of conduct. Good luck on finding someone who will produce it within five minutes. The moral law is much easier to find and digest. It resides in each of us. Michael L. Gooch, SPHR http://www.michaellgooch.com

  2. Dear Sir, I gladly welcome responses that disagree with the article. Thank you for speaking your mind.
    Your book looks interesting. (esp. the part about fun in the workplace)

    You said: “The moral law is much easier to find and digest (than the company code of conduct)”
    Dasan said “After one commits a good act, one can recognize (find) righteousness.”

    My question: How can the moral law be “found” apart from personal action/personal conduct?

    You said: “I believe righteousness exists within each of us before we act, after we act or whether we act at all.”

    Would it not be more accurate to say that the “potential” for righteousness exists within each of us before we act?

    If worded that way, I think I could disagree with Dasan’s theory of ethics and agree with your conclusion. After all, apart from the physical act of eating the peach and then planting it’s potential peach tree (the seed), will you ever get a peach tree?

  3. michaellgooch said

    I can fully agree with all of your responses. Therefore, we are on the same page. This happens so rarely with me that I am going to consider this an “event”. Thanks again!

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