Reading Mozi for a class and thought I should post this paragraph, as it is a sentiment always worth pondering:
But how can partiality be replaced by universality? If men were to regard the states of others as they regard their own, then who would raise up his state to attack the state of another? It would be like attacking his own. If men were to regard the cities of others as they regard their own, then who would raise up his city to attack the city of another? It would be like attacking his own. If men were to regard the families of others as they regard their own, then would raise his family to overthrow that of another? It would be like overthrowing his own. Now when states and cities do not attack and make war on each other and families and individuals do not overthrow or injure one another, is this a harm or a benefit to the world? Surely it is a benefit. (40)
Universality, or the universalization of ethical norms, was a central project of Mozi's thought. He pushed against Confucians, would particularized obligations by giving priority to family. But however great the difference between the Mohists and the Confucians, the sense of ethical reciprocity, so clearly expressed in the paragraph above, is something they shared. While he may hesitate at the Mohist notion of "universal love" (although I prefer the translation offered by the Stanford Encyclopedia people: "inclusive care"), Confucius shared Mozi's impulse to think about the perspective of the other, as in Analects 15.24:
Adept Kung asked: "Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?" The Master replied: "How about 'shu:' never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."