6. Why Does a Man Do Things for the Good of Others?
Where does the phrase of ‘treat others as you want to be treated’ come from?
It is the unique Chinese culture. The Western people who believe Darwin’s law of the jungle and theory of evolution will not believe in this phrase, which is completely against the law of the jungle. Sheep are eaten by tigers because they run slower than tigers and are too weak to fight against tigers. This is the law of the jungle. However, according to the Chinese law of treating others as you want to be treated, if tigers hope not to be eaten by lions, they should not eat sheep. Though sheep are weak and tigers are strong, weak and strong are relative rather than invariable. Sheep are weaker than tigers, and tigers are weaker than lions. If tigers hope not to be eaten by lions in the future, they should not eat sheep today, because sheep might have paid protection fees to lions. If a tiger eats a sheep today, the sheep’s son will ask a lion to revenge on the tiger tomorrow. When will revenge come to an end? It’s better to get along with each other well and not to eat some others, which is the Chinese logic.
A sheep knows that it is too weak to fight against a tiger, but it can ask a lion for protection. When in trouble, the sheep asks the lion to fight for it. This is the Chinese logic.
Therefore, the Chinese sheep put forward the idea of treating others as you want to be treated. Lion is the king of animals, but a dragon is larger than a lion. Dragon is the son of heaven, the emperor. Sheep are often chased and bit by tigers and lions, so sheep often ask the dragon for help, which is the application for an audience with the higher authorities to appeal for help.
Actually, treating others as you want to be treated as well as application for an audience with the higher authorities to appeal for help is not the human nature but the reason in humans. This idea is not thought by everyone. It is summarised by the ancient wise men, celebrities, great men, and ideologists after reflection and experiences and taught by personal example as well as verbal instruction. This idea or the thinking mode is not merely disseminated through textbooks, but also through the daily life like the basic necessities of life, dramas, arts, entertainment, which is so-called culture, expressed in the words of famous people or works of art and literature.
However, culture is not human’s inborn nature. Thus, doing things for the good of others is not the human nature but the reason of Chinese culture. Whether there is such theory in the culture of other countries, to be honest, the author has never studied profoundly. But one thing to be certain is that nations that regard Darwin’s law of the jungle as their national culture will not do things for the good of others and treat others as they want to be treated.
Are there any elements of doing things for the good of others in the human nature? Let’s first of all analyse the word of good. What is good? Good is the opposite of evil. Then what is good? What is evil?
Who set the criteria of good and evil? There is no good when there is no evil. It goes the other way around.
Lewdness is the worst of all sins, while filial piety is the best of all good. This is a famous old saying in China. Lewdness and filial piety are the criteria of judging what is good and what is evil. In ancient times, are they the human natures? What is lewdness? What is filial piety?
Lewdness is the behaviour of having sex with others besides one’s spouse.
In the ancient matriarchal society, the age of knowing one’s mother rather than his father, is there a concept of lewdness? At that time, people even the mothers themselves did not know how many men they had slept with, so they would not know who made them pregnant. Therefore, people at that time did not have fathers but only mothers. There was no concept of lewdness, which developed in the patriarchy society where men dominated the society. To protect their properties, men forbid their spouses to have sex with other men to prevent bastards from splitting up their family properties. In fact, such behaviour was logical in the society at that time. Lewdness was not allowed by customs and even laws.
But is it the human nature?
The author does not think it is the human nature or the natural instinct, but regards it as reason. Though men who dominated the patriarchy society strongly were against their spouses having sex with other men, they themselves would have sex with more than two women reasonably and lawfully. Polygyny had been popular for a long time in ancient China and all over the world. The Chinese emperors had a number of wives and concubines in the imperial harem. From the perspective of polygyny and the Chinese emperors, who had so many wives and concubines, two lovers always keeping each other company and living to old age in conjugal bliss are not the nature of men.
Similarly, the fact that women in the matriarchal society would sleep with dozens of men and their children did not know who their fathers were. It showed that monogamy and living to old age in conjugal bliss are also not the nature of women.
Monogamy and living to old age in conjugal bliss are ideas and concepts that the ruling class and social administration imposed to men or women in order to better rule the society, which are not the human nature but human’s reason.
Similarly, filial piety is not the human nature but the concept and awareness that the ruling class and social administration imposed to people.
Therefore, to distinguish well from evil by lewdness, human’s nature is lewd and evil.
Human’s nature is their social behaviours conducted by their instinct. Nature is human’s social behaviours driven by their innate impulses and desires.