How Heartless Are The Chinese?

Oct 26 2011 @ 1:51pm

Reflecting on last week's tragic hit-and-run accident in China, George Conger criticizes the media for assuming a Christian mindset: 

[W]e in the West still live in Christendom. By this I mean that a Western journalist can assume that his audience has a shared Judeo-Christian worldview on base moral matters. One of these is the Good Samaritan ethic. … Were the 18 bystanders moral monsters, or were they acting according to a different faith code?

Conger suggests that Confucianism discourages the Samaritan ethic. Lijia Zhang proposes a related theory: 

The fundamental problem, in my view, lies in one word that describes a state of mind: shaoguanxianshi, meaning don't get involved if it's not your business. In our culture, there's a lack of willingness to show compassion to strangers. We are brought up to show kindness to people in our network of guanxi, family and friends and business associates, but not particularly to strangers, especially if such kindness may potentially damage your interest.