Not all religions agree on the concept of humanity— and the differences affect such issues as moral reasoning. Western monotheistic religions, for example, accept any living being that is biologically human as a full member of the moral community and divide the person into a physical and a spiritual aspect.
Chinese religions do not embrace either assumption, with the result that Confucian and Taoist ideas of what it means to be human and a member of the moral community differ in some rather surprising ways. Confucianism, for example, does not accord full status as a human person to people simply because they are biologically human beings, but holds out full humanity and membership in the moral community as a goal toward which a person should work throughout their lives through moral self-cultivation.
Charles Jones, a professor of religion at Catholic University of America, explores these differences and shows how the dissimilar concepts of humanity that emerge play into specific problems of moral reasoning and ideas about human destiny with unexpected outcomes.
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