There was once a man who was so fearless and brave, killed the demon man, and traveled places where no man has ever gone before, defied all odds, but eventually brought his own downfall by not fearing those he was supposed to fear. This is the story of Gilgamesh and how he brought glory to himself but in his fearlessness brought destruction to his city. One might argue that fear isn’t essential to teaching one to behave a certain way, but Gilgamesh, the Tanakh, and Confucius say otherwise. Authority is important and having fear in the higher figure is vital. The Tanakh exemplifies filial fear- fear of disrespecting whom one admires, Gilgamesh is the antithesis of servile fear, fear of repercussions for ones actions, and Confucius blends both ideas together on how to live a moral, fearful life. Without fear, humans have the nature to act irrationally; likewise, fear is a psychological restraint on immoral behavior.
The duality of how fear is intertwined in life is present in Confucius. Initially, the Master says “if you use government to show them the way and punishment to keep them true, the people will grow evasive…if you use integrity…they’ll cultivate remorse…(11, Confucius).” Thus, servile fear makes one more rebellious. For instance, if one continuously has fears of the reactions, one will act more irrationally. The desire for ones own choice disregards the effects of ones actions. Instructions are essentially set up for failure. Rules are set up to guide humans, not to enforce difficulty upon them. But, example with honor will have a more valuable effect. Action with honesty develops respect in the disciples. One would be more inclined to act wisely if it aimed not to offend an honor. On the other hand, the Master says, “A gentleman knows neither sorrow nor fear. He finds no sin his heart, so why should he sorrow, what should he fear? (19, Confucius).” Since the noble man does not commit any sins, he has nothing to fear. This illustrates a noble man living a righteous life and therefore, has no reason to fear consequences. Similarly, fear is essential because one thinks of the impacts, and hence is more inclined to act honestly. Righteous acts do not only derive from sincere hearts but also with basic guidelines. “Right comes first for a gentleman. Courage, without a sense of right, makes rebels of the great, and robbery of the poor (76, Confucius).” This statement relates to the adamant fact that courage is the opposite of fear, and without morals is meaningless. If one is brazen, but does not have ethics, it would end in reckless deeds. Impudence without limit converts noble men to revolutionists. Behavior outside of fear results in illogical performances. On the contrary, courage may be the opposite of fear, but with faith and veracity can be reversed into an act of respect. An act for God can be justified as moral. Conclusively, a man with no sense of morals but with utter confidence is devastative, and fear of offending an honor is far more effective.
A man with no limits determinately creates destruction. Gilgamesh was a rash man that acted without thinking. Gilgamesh also did not have respect for the gods and personally, did not have admiration for earthly objects. In particular, the people of Uruk complained, “…nor the wife of the noble; neither the mother’s daughter, nor the warrior’s bride was safe (4, Gilgamesh).” Gilgamesh raped the women without feeling remorse, exemplifying the need for integrity in one. He also had no fear of the outcomes of his actions. In response, his rash deeds created hatred towards him. He was the most feared and most terrorized. Specifically, this is because he believed he was the mightiest and incomparable. This arrogance gave Gilgamesh the bold audacity to defy a god. The lack of fear caused him to act unjustly and disparaged a divine god. He humiliated Ishtar by pitching her flaws, “You are the fire that goes out…you are the house that falls down…and you would do...
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