What Westerners can learn from Eastern philosophy: Filial Piety.

Americans often look down on other cultures, such as middle-eastern cultures that force women to wear something over their hair and/or face while in public. We think it is demeaning to women. It certainly seems a little demeaning to me. I couldn’t dream of that being enforced as a law in America. But have you ever wondered, what American’s do that other cultures think is just wrong? What about us makes them cringe?

During my time in Taiwan I taught regular English classes. Once when I was teaching English class, we were discussing Chinese and American culture. I learned that to the Taiwanese, one of the most abhorrent things we accept in our culture is the prevalence of nursing homes. It makes them sick to think about it. You may think this funny, but listen to my limited understanding of their reasoning. Your parents gave you life, they feed you for years and gave the best of themselves to you. When they get old, how could you in return, send them away from their home, away from friends, and away from you, to a place where those who take care of them don’t do it for love, but for money? In Confucian influenced cultures there is a deep belief in filial piety, meaning  respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors. Due to this belief, grandparents often live in their children’s homes and are taken care of by their own children as they age. So that is the norm in China. Continue reading

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Distributive Justice

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Thoughts on Forced Redistribution of Wealth

This article was co-written by Matthew Sabey, an economics major, and Brian Sabey.

An important part of our political dialogue is about distributive justice—that is, the justice or injustice of redistributing wealth and other resources in various ways. I’m not just talking about tax brackets and welfare programs; I’m also talking about more subtle means of wealth redistribution such as requiring hospitals to treat people who can’t pay (under EMTALA), thereby shifting the cost to those who can—or requiring everyone to buy insurance and subsidizing those who can’t afford it, with a similar effect. To what degree should the law imitate the great outlaw Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to the poor?   Continue reading