Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

The Consensus Basis of Nurturing Citizens' Charitable Spirit

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

The Consensus Basis of Nurturing Citizens' Charitable Spirit

Article excerpt


A citizens' society needs and promotes the behavior of helping and sympathy for other people. The behavior of charity first is under the premise of respecting for citizens' freedom and equal status and follows the concept of people-oriented. Only if we take citizens as the center to nurture the spirit of charity (i.e., citizens' recognition and belief about the charity), it can meet needs of human society and realize the fundamental value of human beings. In the background of citizens having rational individual independence and freedom, we form a charity consensus that is a possible way to nurture the citizens' spirit of charity and solve conflict issues. When rationally examining unselfish and altruistic acts of charity, we find the charity's moral consensus rooted in the life way of people's helping each other in society solidarity. Through the charity, people seek win-win situation for individuals and the society under the background of society solidarity, namely, saving others as if saving oneself is the consensus basis of nurturing citizens' charitable spirit.

Key words: Citizens' charitable spirit; Consensus


The wise man Protagoras said, "man is the measure of all things" (Stumpf & Fieser, 2007/2009, p.26). Many scholars have thought that this slogan was the most representative slogan of advocating humanity in the early history of thought. It marked people to begin getting rid of shackles of the natural and man-made and establish the consideration from human beings' individual, independent status. So far, the history of human beings can be decomposed into the progress in natural science, the development of humanities and social science, and the significant political revolutions. And no matter the exploration of human body and the nature, the research on people's mental world and social life, or the struggle between classes is the history of individuals striving to be the measure. If we talk about the existence of the nature and society without taking the human beings' measure and meeting an individual needs which come from his natural property and social property, everything will be meaningless and become soundless finally. As the measure of all things, individuals are main bodies who have self-consciousness. Meeting individuals needs show that individuals are subjects who can make value judgments. Therefore, an individual's independence and autonomy is associated with people, things, and objects outside him. Perhaps, only few individuals may want to drift into an island and meet Robinson and Friday. All kinds of need of a person are met through relations between him and the nature, him and the society. A person is a body of these relations. So, in order to achieve purposes and the significance of people, how should we treat and explain relations between individuals and the community? (Adjusting conduct standards of social relations is a feature of a legal system. A legal system is general social conduct standards which have the content of rights and obligations. It relies on the national force to adjust the social life. The legal relations are the most basic social relations, so understanding the legal relations is the foundation of understanding a person status and his social relations. The rule of law and the constitutional concept originated in the West, so a person's social relations including the political, legal relations and other related views which the Western jurisprudence proposed are fields we should think about.)

The concept of citizen has been used since the time of ancient Greece. Citizen characterizes the concept of natural person who has some identity or qualification and is closely related with the community. Simply say, the concept of citizen answers these questions in the public domain-who am I and what should I do. It explains an individual how to treat himself and the relations between him and others. …

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