Similarities and Differences between Humanity and Universal Love Essay

Similarities and Differences between Humanity and Universal Love Essay

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Love is generally viewed as a deep and tender feeling of affection to a person or persons and their happiness is important to you. In ancient Chinese, Confucius, a famous philosopher in the Spring and Autumn period, introduced the virtue of humanity, while Mozi promoted another virtue, universal love. Universal love is a kind of pragmatic love while humanity is a kind of non-pragmatic love. Universal love advocated love without distinction while humanity is a kind of extensive love with the foundation of filial piety, which means people should love their parents first and later spread the love to others. After analyzing, it is clear that these two concepts are not compatible due to the mutually exclusive foundation. In this essay, the similarities and differences between humanity and universal love will be discussed. This essay will also provide supports that both concepts are not compatible with reference to the Analects, Mozi, Mengzi and Zuo Zhuan.

The first major difference between humanity and universal love is the order of love, in other words, whether love should be with or without distinction. In humanity, love towards different parties are not the same. It emphasizes much on existential love that is love with the foundation of filial piety. One loves people who have closer relationship with him more than people who are less related to him. While universal love promotes universality and people should love others equally. Mencius commented on the source of love and agreed that love makes no distinction, but its application must begin with one’s parents (Chan, 1963). This clear states that although both humanity and universal love are about love, their foundations are different and violates each other. Confucian’s notion is ...

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...h humanity and universal love tell people to love each other and it is ever present and we do not need to learn or study about it. However, their foundations and intentions are different and violate each other. Although some people pointed out that humanity may lead to universal love eventually and love without distinction is not totally absent in humanity, they are still not compatible as they cannot be upheld at the same time.

Chan, W.-t. (1963). A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton University Press.
Mengzi. (371 BC). Gong Sun Chou I.
Mengzi. (371 BC). The Mencius. Shangdong.
Mozi. (468 BC). Will of Heaven I.
Watson, B. (2003). Universal Love Part III. New York: Columbia University Press.
Wong, M. H. (2014, March Week 5). The debate on love with and without distinction.
Zisi. (465 BC). Doctrine of the Mean.
Zuo, Q. m. (389 BC). Zuo Zhuan.

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