The Importance Of Saving The Family

1095 Words 5 Pages
In Chinese tradition, the obligation between relationships was emphasized. By maintaining it, one can culture his virtues and pass on to his offspring, benefiting the whole society. Among kinds of relationships, the parents-son and husband-wife relationships are considered as the most important. The former one cultivates one’s benevolence, the latter one is the starting point of humanity. There is then a hypothetical dilemma between the two relationships: the choice to be made when one's mother and his wife fell into a river while neither of them can swim but he can only save one. No matter who was chosen to be saved, he cannot escape the suffering of losing an important person in his life. This essay will argue to save the mother if it is …show more content…
Being good to parents is the basis of a man of virtue. Saving them in a crisis immediately is a natural reaction for a filial son. With the intrinsic connections between mothers and sons, mothers have sacrificed for their sons unconditionally since they were still embryos. Saving mother as a prime concern is the outward expression of the innermost heart of a son who follows the path of filial piety to reciprocate the origin of their lives. Parents are not only the origin of the son’s life, but they are also the root of his virtues because glorifying parents is the highest degree of filial piety, which is the motivation of sons to cultivate their talents and establish their character (Legge, 1964). Moreover, the parent-son relationship is the starting point of all other relationships. Sons follow the way their mothers love them to treat other relationships with sincerity and respect which are essential virtues to maintain a good husband-wife relationship. With the practice of filial piety, the virtue of unconditional love can hence be passed on to the next generation and expanded to other relationships. On the basis that filial piety is the root of a man’s character, achievement and his attitude toward relationships, a son should save his mother with a top …show more content…
It was argued that the wife can accompany her husband and share the duty of raising their kids but the mother is aged and may die soon even she was saved, therefore saving the wife can bring a best consequence for the son. Although it may be true that the wife can be his companion for a longer time than his mother could, it is not necessarily a best choice to save the wife first under utilitarianism. According to Jeremy Bentham’s Principle of Utility, we should always choose the action that has the best consequence for everyone concerned, but not only an individual (Rachels, 2014). The mother may have many close friends or relatives while the social circle of the wife is relatively narrow due to her younger age. Therefore, more people would be involved and more sorrow would be induced if the son chooses to save his wife instead of his mother. It shows that saving the wife first may not maximize the utility for everyone concerned. It is also not true that a best consequence can be brought to the son. This is because the grief from his innermost heart cannot be simply overcome by the pleasure of his wife's companion. Comparing two choices, saving the wife cannot prevent greater unhappiness or bringing a best consequence for everyone concerned than saving the mother. In the sight of utilitarianism, the argument against saving mother is

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