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孝、孝顺,孝道、孝敬 all talk of filial piety which is a huge part of Chinese language and culture.

愚孝 on the other hand means "stupidly filial" and is defined by Taiwans Ministry of Education as, “昧於事理的孝行,如割股醫親之類。” which roughly translates as “filial acts without judgement, things such as cutting off the flesh from one's thigh to make a medication for one's sick parent."

abc dictionary defines 愚孝 as, “blind devotion to one's parents,” while cc-cedict says, “unquestioning filial piety.”

Years ago there was a compilation of works called “二十四孝” (the 24 examples of filial piety (selected by Guo Jujing of the Yuán 元 Dynasty) but many of these, so-called, “exemplars” are considered 愚孝 by today's standards, see:

However, in modern times, some stories in The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars are regarded as examples of blind filial piety that should not be learnt from. These stories include: Guo Ju burying his son for the sake of his mother; Wu Meng allowing mosquitoes to suck his blood, believing that they would not bother his parents if he did so; Wang Xiang lying naked on ice in the hope of thawing the ice with his body heat so that he could catch the fish beneath the ice.

There are also some stories which were heavily criticised and even regarded as contradicting Confucian principles. One example is the story of Cai Shun being rewarded by the Chimei rebels for his filial piety: The story paints the rebels in a positive light when they were actually being disloyal to their country[6] by rebelling against the government. Another example is the story of Laolaizi behaving in a childish manner to amuse his parents: The writer Lu Xun mentioned that Laolaizi's story is an insult to the ancients, and has a bad influence on future generations.[7]

So, The Questions:

What was 孝 originally meant to mean?

At what point does 孝 stop being 孝 and become 愚孝?

What does 孝 mean today?

What does 愚孝 mean today?

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This is a good question, but to me it is too deep into cultural/social/judgmental/personal area to be suitable for Chinese Language Q/A. – NS.X. Jun 1 '14 at 10:18
+1 Because while I don't like the question, I agree with your right to ask it and you did so in a reasonable way. – Tommie C. Jun 3 '14 at 14:35
up vote 2 down vote accepted

是(Confirm)是(right thing)非(deny)非(wrong thing)谓之(is)知(smart), 非(deny)是(right thing)是(confirm)非(wrong thing)谓之愚 是:肯定、赞同、承认。 非:否定、摒弃。 第二个为形容词性,即 是:正确的,对的,积极的。 非:错误的,不好的,消极的。 总体上翻译为;能够肯定正确的、否定错误的才是智慧的表现。把错的认为是对的、把对的认为是正确的,那就是愚昧的表现。 孔子 think “仁义礼智信” is the right thing, So if a man doing a wrong thing and think he is do the right for 孝. it's 愚孝

and the rule of the right thing changes with the time.

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Can you give some specific examples of what 愚孝 is in the past and today? – user3306356 Jun 4 '14 at 6:18
Do anything good for your old man is 孝,it's for past and today, although you do 愚孝, you will also admired, just have pity for you. Chinese think 孝 is one of the best thing in a people. sorry for my English , wish you can get it. – ztana Jun 4 '14 at 6:27
I think your explanation is fascinating just hoping for some specific examples of what would constitue 愚孝 – user3306356 Jun 4 '14 at 6:41
like there is one person say bad words to your parents and you are so angry and kill that person. it's maybe good to your parents(as you think). but kill is a bad thing. so that's a 愚孝.but if you do like that people might not think you as a 愚孝, they may think you out of bad thing,and not so bad like kill a person. – ztana Jun 4 '14 at 6:51
  1. A young person helps an old person. (
  2. So far, they are different. 孝 is still a commendatory word. But the concept of 孝 has changed over time, and your cited examples (considered as 愚孝) aren't promoted or encouraged by the society.
  3. Filial piety.
  4. “unquestioning filial piety” as you cited.
share|improve this answer
Doesn't answer any of my questions. – user3306356 Jun 1 '14 at 1:30

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