Gentleman and Benevolence Confucian Benevolence

He was also severing his bond to his subjects like Antigone, whose rights to act in a morally pious fashion were part of their rights as his citizens.

A good king thus must act with benevolence, and according to the rules that are put upon him in his position, just like a subject must act kindly towards the king. Creons actions also put his own son in a terrible position. His son forced to choose between his obligations to his father and his bride. In violating his proper duties as a father as well as a king, Creon is also violating the dictates of being a gentleman in the spirit of benevolence.

Demonstrating benevolence is honoring ones obligations and also allowing others to perform their obligations to you and to others. Antigone attempts to do this by encouraging her sister to join her in burying her brother and also defying Creons dictate, even though her sister refuses. Creon does exactly the opposite, illustrating his lack of worth as a ruler — he is not only not benevolent, refusing to obey the laws of the gods and correct codes of virtue, but he actively encourages others to violate them, in the case of the laws he passes in his city, and the way he forces his so to tragically chose between loyalty to his father and loyalty to his family, just as Antigone is forced to choose.

A truly benevolent leader under the Mandate of Heaven encourages piety, including filial piety while Creon works to thwart it and serve his own ego. Creons aims and actions are clearly not in keeping with the desire to serve the will of the gods, but to serve a political purpose that defies religious morality and tradition, and he only deludes himself that his powerful actions serve the state, not himself. An irreligious action for Confucius can never enhance security, because it tears the social fabric of society..


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