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Authors

Shuai Wang

Abstract 摘要

Contemporary bioethics and moral principles often emphasize values such as human dignity, equality, and individual autonomy, particularly in the case of moral dilemmas. Given that traditional Confucian ethics does not speak of these values, the effort to construct “Confucian bioethics” today may face challenges from two aspects: (1) the notion of individualism, and (2) individual autonomy that makes moral choices possible. The paper contends that there is an ethical incommensurability between traditional Confucian moral philosophy and contemporary bioethics. This leads to the argument that one cannot simply apply the moral principles of bioethics to assess and judge Confucian ethics. It also contends that the Confucian ethical viewpoint represents a kind of elitism that sets up moral standards for a minority, rather than for everyone in society. Therefore, Confucianism by default will not be able to answer many of the questions raised by bioethics, which has been highly influenced by a modern democratic system.

生命倫理學由於強調平等和尊重的價值而使個體在道德困境中的抉擇顯得尤為重要,同時道德困境本身也要求個體具有一定的道德抉擇能力。就此而言,構建“儒家生命倫理”可能面臨兩個挑戰:從生命倫理學科性質而言,儒家面臨的是關於西方式“個體”概念缺失的問題;另外從個體抉擇方面而言,儒家似乎又面臨著缺乏道德抉擇能力的困境。前者是生命倫理學科的本質要求,後者則似乎是儒學內部的理論困境。二者似乎表明,儒家與生命倫理學科不能相容。面對當下中國令人憂慮的道德現狀,澄清上述問題就顯得必要。本文將通過分析儒家倫理思想來澄清上述兩個挑戰。由於儒家理解世界的方式不同於西方,我們就不能以西方流行的生命倫理學科標準來衡量儒家倫理學說。文章指出,儒家將一般人與儒者區別開來,也並不以要求君子的道德標準來要求一般人。儒家將承擔道義的責任更多的賦予了代表“天命”的儒者,以道在倫常日用之中的實用理性精神為本質特徵,開創了儒家理解道德和解決道德困境的獨特維度。然而,鑒於當代儒家的遭遇,構建“儒家生命倫理”依舊任重道遠。

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