Moral Man and Immoral Society

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Transcript Moral Man and Immoral Society

Moral Man and
Immoral Society
Michael Cheng-tek Tai. Ph.D.
Dean, College of Medical Humanities and
Social Sciences
Chungshan Medical University.Taiwan.
In face of human predicaments:
1. The optimism of the early 20th century
- with the rise of rationalism, human would solve all
- through education, moral society could be anticipated
2. The pessimism of the middle 20th century
- human is not as reliable as he tends to be: e.g.World Wars
- you are a lost generation: “shadow of the shadow”
3. The confusion of the late 20th century
- the future shock
- the Brave New World
( in whose expense?)
II. Are we living in a moral society ?
1. a survey:
- do you think we live in a moral society ?
- do you think you are basically a moral person ?
- shouldn’t our world be moral if all is morallydesired and declined ?
2. The commiseration of human heart
“ Behold , the creation is good !”
Man, you are alienated : St.Paul’s experience
The goodness of man: Mencius
The evil of man; Hsun-tzu
Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
III. Moral man Vs Immoral Society
1. The irony of history – we walk in circle
A common God yet inflicting pain on each other.
2. R.Niebuhr identified two evils that will destroy
human race:
i. bureaucratization ; arrogance of power
that kills personal morality
ii. ideology : human prejudice
that kills social morality
3. We are a family yet each works for his/her own good
stepping on others to get ahead
III. Moral man Vs Immoral Society
3. Personal morality and social morality
i. Personal morality is enhanced through ethics which
is an awareness, an attitude, a personality
cultivation and an application
ii. social morality is a collective wisdom striving for
common good
4. The perils of personal and social morality
i. personal level: apathy and inaction
ii. social level: justice rests on collective egoism
Evolving toward a usable future
1. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: the Phenomenon of ManFaith as hope can ultimately triumph over entrenched
and aggressive immorality. He failed to teach us how.
2. Are men trustworthy ?
Freud – human nature is basically selfish, uncivilized,
Maslow – Actualization of personal fulfillment
Watson – neither good nor bad. Learning makes a
Existential – to exist is to shape your destiny
V. Moral Man in Immoral Taiwan
1. Medical educators seem to believe that education will lead
us somewhere e.g. curriculum reformation
2. Our society as a whole is utilitarianistic
3. Naïve awareness and critical awareness
i. man-the-maker (teleological):reach the goal
ii. man-the-citizen (deontological):obey the law
iii. man-the-answerer (deputyship):be responsible.
intellectual must bring message to his generation
VI. Conclusion
Dear God, give us strength to accept with
serenity the thing that cannot be changed.
Give us courage to change the thing that can
and should be changed and give us wisdom to
distinguish one from the other.
( Reinhold Niebuhr)