A reader emails with a question that emerged in a discussion she had with friends about the relative merits of the moral systems of Christianity and Confucianism. Her friends say that Confucianism relies too much on "face," or how one is perceived by others, and thus leads to a lack of authentic, internally-generated morality. They therefore conclude that:
... western Christian values foster honesty more than Confucianism.
This hearkens back to a long-standing distinction between "guilt" cultures versus "shame" cultures and, I think, ultimately rests on a misreading of Confucius and an idealization of the effects of Western Christianity.