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How should “self-regard” be treated in moral education

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image of Frontiers of Education in China

One of the main reasons of the fact that Chinese moral education could hardly get out of its predicament is that “self-regard” has been simply and unilaterally interpreted as the absolute opposite to morality, where “self-regard” is merely regarded as the source of “everything evil”, and the fact that it is also the source of “everything good” is neglected. Actually, “self-regard” is the nature of human beings who go for benefit and avoid harm, which is inevitable and reasonable. It is not naturally opposite to altruism, for there is no problem concerning morality in self-regard itself, though there might be some in the means adopted. Therefore, the aim of moral education is not to deprive a person of his/her intention of self-regard, but to normalize the means he/she might adopt, so that he/she could suitably benefit himself/herself as he/she benefits others. It is proven by the past experience and the present situation that the key premise for the Chinese moral education to get out of its predicament is to set up a correct understanding over self-regard.


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