Author: Marta Kosmala
Year of publication: 2004
Source: Show
Pages: 25-46
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ap200402
PDF: ap/7/ap0702.pdf

TWO CIVILIZATIONS – TWO SYSTEMS OF VALUES – TWO VISIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Two distinctive civilizations along with their specific systems of values may prove complementary in the process of funding a new global ethics, which will set basis for the universal human rights system. These ethics are constituted by supernational synthesis of the most precious values from the heritage of Renaissance and Enlightenment as well as the Confucian phlilosophy. According to the theory of professor Tu Wenming, “Confucian ideal of an individual may be attained more completely in a liberal democratic society than in a traditional imperial dictatorship or a contemporary autocratic regime”, whereas “Confucian tradition may provide us with spiritual resources necessary to develop new vision of society, deriving them from the very core of the theories of Enlightenment”. Professor Jan Rowiński admits that Tu’s proposal “gains a new meaning on international and regional level, not only in the light of the repercussions of the September 11th, but also as a dire need to fill the void resulting from the deep crisis of ideology and professed values, moral oblivion and consecration of money. These are the social and ethical costs of transformation, not only in People’s Republic of China.” Tu’s theory raises an alternative for the “clearly utilitarian attempts, being subjected to political needs, to establish specific, Asian or Chinese, moral identity as a counterbalance (…) to the universal values which human rights are directly derived from.”

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