Vol 3 No 1 (2022)

Published: 2022-03-30

--In Progress --

Abstract views: 255   PDF downloads: 163  
2022-03-30
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Pages 78-92

Good and God: The Enlightenment Projects in Europe and China

blankpage Keekok Lee

This paper will explore the following themes: (1) To argue that the concepts of Good and God belong to distinctly different discourses – the former to ethics or moral philosophy, the latter to religion; (2) There is no necessary logical link between Good and God; (3) Far from God logically preceding Good, it is Good which logically precedes God and guarantees its existence as a supernatural entity; (4) From above it follows that a society can be moral and not subscribe to a religion which postulates the existence of God as a supernatural entity; (5) Chinese history, its culture and its civilisation which have lasted and continues to endure for at least two and a half thousand years constitutes a refutation of the thesis that there can be no morality without religion and that a society resting solely on Good and not God could survive; (6) European Enlightenment which occurred in the 18th century is about dispensing with God and religion, ushering in secularism and humanism as an alternative philosophical foundation for society; (7) The Chinese has been secular and humanistic since the Spring and Autumn period when Kongzi and other philosophers lived and taught. This means that the Chinese Enlightenment Project has occurred, more than two thousand years before the European Enlightenment Project; (8) Furthermore, there is compelling circumstantial evidence that the Chinese Project could have played a role in the emergence of the European Project via the Jesuit route of knowledge transmission from the East to the West.