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Abstract 摘要

In response to the challenges presented by ever-emerging moral issues in contemporary society, ethicists try to obtain input from different religious, philosophical and cultural traditions, and Confucianism is a popular choice. In following Confucian ethics, people grasp important Confucian concepts, quote important passages from the Classics and engage in exegesis to argue for the contemporary relevancy of Confucianism and Confucian ethics. However, because Confucianism is a living tradition that has guided Chinese life for years, other questions must be addressed when considering Confucian ethics. How have Confucian principles been applied historically to handle similar issues? Can these past applications serve as a source for addressing contemporary Confucian ethics? This paper considers how people adhere to Confucian ethics. The author determines how select Confucian family values have been applied in the past to help the Chinese to achieve major objectives related to marriage and family, and shows how they apply to the use of biotechnology in contemporary China. The paper contends that if Confucianism remains a living Chinese tradition, its past applications should give insights, however heuristic, into how people currently adhere to Confucian ethics.

隨着科技的發展,當代社會出現了好些新的道德議題。學者嘗試從不同的宗教、哲學及文化傳統,如儒家角度,回應這些議題。部分學者在詮釋儒家傳統時,卻往往只選取某些儒家的重要概念,或引用某些儒家重要的經典,然後論證儒家在回應某議題的適切性。但是,儒家並非僅僅是一套哲學的系統。儒家在過往千多年,一直為中國社會提供生活的指導原則。所以,我們關注的,應是如果將儒家這些原則應用到今天相關議題時,將出現怎樣的狀况;以及這些原則在歷史上的應用又能否為當代建構儒家倫理提供在概念與經典外的資源。

本文探索的,正是建構儒家倫理的方法問題。筆者嘗試從儒家的婚姻家庭價值及其在歷史上的具體應用,看它對當代中國在生物科技方面的抉擇帶來什麼影響。如果儒家是一個活傳統,其價值觀在過往的應用亦應可為今日的處境帶來洞見,同時亦展現出儒家倫理歷久不變的價值。

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