Immanuel Kant and Confucius
When it comes to what a human wants, will do and shall, there is no right answer. The comparison lies in what is good for whom. The possibilities differ on how a balance can happen. But where to start is valued in the moral code or an individual person.
Immanuel Kant knows a people cannot decide what is good for the individual. In fact, our conjoined morality is merely a “practical rule” (p4). It is practical to satisfy someone else, but to make it a “moral law” (p4) is unkind. Despite “rational agency” (p22), a law forbids and punishes what it ordinary for us. Punishment can be useful but becomes tedious and unyielding when broken promises between friends, stealing toys from a sibling, doodling off a paper are equal to lying politicians, auto theft, and defacing a store. Punishment is “the far-reaching” (p5) ideal and attitude that reveals morality as face of the public and bane for the person.
I prefer Confucius but my world is familiar with Utilitarianism. Consider the conversations we have by ourselves and towards one another. The general concern, both personal and publicized is a discussion of what we do against one another versus what we want for ourselves. Weighing these acts is a matter of choosing one pleasure over another, the public duty or the personal one. The Analectic ethic is we need an occasion to be molded into selflessness, but our higher society has gained much more whilst living Mill’s concept. Plainly, it is more satisfying to adopt personal happiness. The pleasure of wanting a better world is overshadowed by independently winning the lottery. Possibly our duty towards our neighbor is the better choice—but not our first decision.