Confucius

Comparing and Contrasting the Confucius Ideas with Ancient Greek thinkers Term Paper

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Buddha’s or Confucius ideas are the religious teachings according to the Siddhartha Gautama that occurred starting from 566 and 486 before Christ. People during that period called Gautama Buddha to define his ideas of awakening people from the traditional beliefs (Simon 98).

The ideas of Buddha consisted of much knowledge on the happenings and the wisdom to shape peoples ways of life. According to the Buddha, the middle way was an important aspect if people practiced and emphasized on it. This essay people will be focusing on the ideas that were common between the Buddha and the ancient Greek thinkers, and also their differences. His awakening call had some similarities with the traditional Greeks, and in some cases they differed.

One major issue was the life after death, and the two philosophers Plato and Aristotle had some similarities and differences concerning that issue. Plato was known as one of the most honoured philosophers and he was a student of Socrates. During his time, Aristotle was his student in philosophy.

Plato used theories that existed before his time and brought them together to develop some ideas concerning his main concern that was the human soul (Sahni 102). Plato wanted to advance the peoples ways of thinking especially the culture of reducing human soul into fire or atoms.

Plato was a serious spiritualist who emphasized much on the human soul. As far as the soul and the body were concerned Plato believed that these two were distinct parts that only worked together during the life time of an individual. Plato emphasized on the fact that the soul was the most important part of a human being, and that is why he used to define the soul as “self initiating motion”.

The soul being the source of motion, Plato insisted that the body is supposed to rely on the soul for directions and ideas. In other words, Plato said that the soul is what any human being is, and it stays inside a person just waiting for it time of release. Plato said a person is what he or she is just because of the soul inside him or her.

As far as the body and the soul interacted, Plato also commented on the things that the soul could be influenced by the work or the actions of the body. In his famous work referred to as republic, Plato talks about the body physical exercises, and created some types of opposition on some music due to their negative impacts on the soul (Nakamurai 432).

To some extent, although Plato regarded body and the soul as separate, he also knew that there was an interaction that existed between the soul and the body before death of a person but in a shallow manner.

In his famous work of republic, Plato tried to compare the work of a human body with that of a city-state. He explained that people involve themselves with the same functions, and show some features, and contain the same features just like a big city. Plato used this example to demonstrate how complex the body of a human being is. The body of a human being is made up of various parts with each part playing a different role.

He gave an explanation of how someone gets contrary ideas from when deciding to make a certain decision. In his teachings, Plato gave a wide explanation of the three types of souls that he believed existed in a human being. First he taught about the rational soul, which he believed its location was in the head, he then talked of spirited soul that is found in the breast, and finally the appetitive soul found in the abdomen (Sriwarakuel 211).

Aristotle had also his views concerning the soul of a human being. According to the Aristotle, the soul was also very crucial to all living things not necessarily the human beings. In his expressions of ideas, Aristotle emphasized much on the psychological effects and metaphysics. Aristotle was not only concerned about the soul of a human being but the souls of all the living things like he plants, and the animals.

He explained that both the plants and the animals exist because they have souls. In his studies and application of philosophies, three types of substances such as the matter that was well expressed as the potentiality of the living things, form that meant the actual status of something, and finally the combination of both the form and the matter mainly concerned Aristotle.

Relating this theory to the human beings, Aristotle said that the body is not life “it’s the soul that has life”, and hence the body just acts as a matter to he soul. This qualifies the soul to be the major act of the body (Cooper 58).

The major factors in Aristotle’s view of the soul were four and started with the formal cause of something, the efficient cause, the material and the final cause. Aristotle compares the body and the soul with the maters that are separable. Although the body exist because of the potentiality of the soul both of them are separable according to the Aristotle.

The Buddhists and the ancient Greeks have a common idea of believing that there was a presence of a soul in a human being and it was the most important part of a human being. For the human beings to exist, the power and the motion was the soul. Another major idea that they all shared in common was the fact that the soul had different noticeable levels, in which level was a different faculties (Joseph 102).

The soul according to them had some parts with a higher capacity of reasoning than the rest and that is why any human being was encountering some doubts when in the process of making a certain decision.

As for matters concerning the soul and the life after death, Buddhist had some differences in ideas with those of the ancient Greeks. Although both believed on the existence of souls, Buddhists believed that the soul pre-existed while on the other hand, Aristotle did not believe on the pre-existence of the soul. Another major difference in ideas of Buddha and that of ancient Greeks was about the after life of the soul.

The ancient Greeks believed there was no more than the burning of the soul after death and breaking it to the fire, as it does not have much value. The Buddhist idea about the soul after death was quite different as his religious teachings insisted about the life after death, and the soul had to undergo some processes of judgement for the both things that were done by it and the body.

Another major idea of both the Buddhists and the ancient Greeks is their ethics. In the Aristotle book of metaphysics, he expressed many theories of ethics and politics (Gier 97). According to him, he expresses that there is need for justice, friendly relationships, and communal gatherings the same way as for the goodness of knowledge. Much of the Aristotle’s theory of ethics described men as social animals, who requires to interact and share with others to make his life complete.

Human beings as social animals also need to enjoy their lives and the benefits of living together according to the Aristotle. The human kind is explained as a race that requires training on the behavioural factors by Aristotle to shape their lives. When human beings are trained to adapt to certain behaviour when they are still young, they have a big impact in their future lives than when they learn when they are still old (Yuanghei 107). Behaviours learnt at an early age are better and more encouraging according to philosopher Aristotle.

Moreover, the Buddhists ideas concerning the ethics in human nature had some similarities and differences with that of Aristotle. They both believed that the content of our humanity has the capability of producing both the virtues and the vices.

Both the Buddha and the Aristotle explains the importance of the human beings undergoing some form of training and education to shape their ethical values at their late ages (Bartley 290). The major difference of the Buddha ethics and that of Aristotle is that the Buddha links moral values interdependently.

Aristotle tries to link the moral values, meditation, and the insight as one aspect to be involved in human race to create a path for spiritual movements. Buddha has a special moral ethics of compassion and a culture of meditation if any human being is in need of leading a good life full of awakening factors. The ethics of Buddha are full of moral values to waken humankind from their past believe that they had inherited from the ancient Greeks.

The major differences that existed between the Buddha and the ancient Greeks concerning the moral ethics were that the Buddha had a metaphysics, which was more complicated than that of Aristotle and tried to give people a more developed basis of practicing ethics.

The Buddha ideas were morals of one living several lives in one model, but on the other hand, Aristotle insisted on developing an individual capability throughout his or her one life (Nakamurai 345). Any person practicing virtues in his or her life would practice the wisdom required for responsible enough and adhere to the morals of the society.

Buddha appealed most of his ethics on the daily loving and kindness that every individual is supposed to express to his fellow human beings. According to Buddha, the word virtue was explained as an individual letting go of all his or her self-esteem through the efforts of trying to exercise the mediation, moral values, and the best use of ones brains.

This is a clear explanation of someone in a metaphysical world, which advises the readers to disintegrate the subject, object, and be the only determinant of how one is thinking and experiencing (Sahni 86).

Buddha needed the human beings to shape their world by each individual taking into consideration that he or she is part of the world in his or her actions and body functions like breathing. Aristotle’s ethical views were very different as he took a societal dimension in a manner that one cannot determine or plan for his or her excellence, as there are no limits to measure the level of excellence.

Excellence according to Aristotle is not something that can be thought and be dealt with all the time, because it depends more with the society and not the individuals (Pioneai 113). Having the major factors as the society to determine the overall excellence of an individual, it becomes hard for any individual to come up with their own factors of goodness and welfare.

Aristotle mainly considered the whole society to be the major determinant of individual’s welfare, and the Buddha knew that every person had an obligation of making his or her world to be full of happiness and excellence.

There are major similarities that were seen to exist between the Buddha ides of ethics and that of the ancient Greeks. To some extent, the moral ethics of the two were almost alike as they were based on the same ground.

The ethics of Buddha and for the ancient Greeks were base3d on moderation, whereby Aristotle through his mean doctrine, and Buddha through the doctrine of middle way come together and form teleological moral values (Simon 58). According to these ancient Greeks ideas of ethics, they believed that for anyone to enjoy a good life, he or she must practice the ways of virtue and no any other way.

For people to understand the ways of virtue, they have to rely on the teleological background for both cases. The human beings in both cases have to believe in their conception of a certain nature that would help them to determine their intended goals and perspectives that marks their end (Gier 114).

For both Buddha and the ancient Greeks, it was clear that the application of virtues in human beings lives is a mark for the right path to be followed in achieving the life objectives. Through ignoring, the use of virtues may result in many barriers on the way of attaining the objectives and one may finally not reach the intended destination. The life of virtues has a lot to offer in terms of happiness and fulfilment; it affords better things that an ordinary person who is practicing vices cannot afford.

The terminal of the Buddha invites people to come for drastic change of human nature through serious mental and physical training full of morals as well as exercising the compassionate love (Bartley 102). This would be possible if one will escape from the hardships brought about by karmic regeneration in the process of existence.

The final and most successful release will result from people letting go of all their self-esteem to practice the moral values. For the human beings to perfect their lives there should be application of successful meditation and practice of moral values in continuous manner toward the end of attaining the goals and marking the end of a human being.

For both the Buddha and the ancient Greeks, there were derived some common ethical lessons through the explanations of their ideas. Through their ideas there was a lesson to the parents, as they are the primary source of the moral education to their children (Yuanghei 112). The parents’ were left with an obligation of passing the message to their children of being good by knowing what is good to be practiced, and at the same time doing good for the sake of their future lives.

Another moral lesson from both the Buddha ideas and those of old ancients was directed to the formal education facilitators for instance teachers. It is also an obligation of the teachers in schools and other social gatherings to pass the message to the children about ethical values. The moral development in children is a continuous path, starting from home to the schools and other places where they meet with their peers. Teachers have a professional obligation of teaching the children, but they still need to take care of their moral values.

Although both the Buddha and the ancient Greeks used different ways of explaining that moral ethics would not be considered as the specific science that people look for, they made efforts of giving the guidelines of how people can apply the morals in their lives, especially the young generation in schools. Human beings now have clear guidelines on hoe to apply the ethics in their normal lives especially when about to make a serious decision.

Unlike the Buddha’s ideas, most of the ancient Greeks believed in pluralism, whereby the things that are found in the world are made up of different atoms. They claimed those tiny things known as atoms (Gier 96) make up all the living and the non-living things in the world.

Another thing that they believed and differed a lot with the ideas of Buddha is about the animism, this is whereby they claimed that both living and non-living things have a soul inside. The ancient philosophers had another idea about the reality of the world that was completely different from that of Buddha.

According to them, the reality is aspects that that should live forever and should never change (Sahni 84). To their arguments they added that our experiences that we get in our world are never real as they keep on changing, this was completely different from the ideas of Buddha who knew that our worldly experiences were very real and they were bound to changes as the world also changes. The dynamic changes of the world according to Buddha were as real and acceptable like the reality of the existing human beings.

The views of the Buddha and that of the two great Greek philosophers had some similarities and differences. Buddhists ethics were known to be full of humanity and on personal grounds just like the ideas of the ancient Greeks. Most of the ethical lessons learnt from Buddha were very similar to the ones by Aristotle. The major difference between the Confucius idea with that of the ancient Greeks was that the ancient Greeks concentrated more on the inside part of the soul and the Confucius ideas of virtue concentrated on interpersonal relations ( Simon 107).

The morals that were found in the Buddha’s moral lessons were mainly on the virtues, characteristics of human beings, and the moral values meant to guide people in the society. According to Buddha’s ideas, the interpersonal; relationship that existed among the individuals had a great impact to the peoples lives. As far as one was advised to practice moral virtues in his or her deeds, it was also important to relate with one another well.

Works Cited

Bartley, James. The ancient Greeks Philosophies. Michigan: Routledge, 2007.

Cooper, David. Buddhism, Virtue and Environment. Michigan: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2005.

Gier, Nicholas. The Virtue of nonviolence: from Gautama to Gandhi. Michigan: Suny Press, 2009.

Joseph, Needham. Ancient Philosophers. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Nakamurai, Hajime. A comparative history of ideas. Michigan: Cengage Learning, 2003.

Pioneai, Jacky. Philosophical Ideologies. New York: Cengage Learning, 2004.

Sahni, Pragati. Environmental ethics in Buddhism: a Virtues approach. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Simon, James. Zen Buddhism and environmental ethics. New York: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2004.

Sriwarakuel, Warayuth. Cultural traditions and Contemporary challenges in Southeast Asia. Beijing: CRVP, 2005.

Yuanghei, Margret. Virtues of Confucius ideas. Beijing: Yuan, 2003.

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Confucius Biography Research Paper

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

The following is a research paper on Philosopher Confucius. The paper is divided into several sections. These sections includes the reason why I selected Philosopher Confucius, Confucius history and contributions to philosophy, key philosophies/Main concepts of Confucianism, how these concepts apply to our society both professionally and personally and a conclusion there from.

The following are the main reasons as to why I decided to do a research paper on Philosopher Confucius; Confucius was more interested in personal morality i.e. the Confucian school of thought was based on personal moral behaviors.

Confucius advocated for morality in the society as a means for peaceful coexistence among people. Confucianism connected personal behavior elements with the principles that governed institutions. Confucius argued that leaders should lead by example. He explained that there is a close connection between one’s moral virtue and proper governing.

According to him, moral virtue is the only means of ensuring that there is order in the society. Confucius believed that governing is entirely dependent on personal rectification. Once a leader has rectified him or her, then he or she is capable of rectifying others. Confucius gives the example of founding fathers of Chou dynasty as models that are able to govern well due to the fact that they have already rectified themselves (Eng, 2004, P.22).

The other reason as to why I selected Confucius Philosopher is because Confucius supported strong family loyalty. Confucius regarded family as the foundation for an effective government. Confucius was thus in support of strong family ties, respect for the elderly and above all, he favored ancestor worship. According to Confucius, wives are supposed to respect their husbands and the husbands are bound to treat their companions well.

The young should never disrespect the old i.e. older people should be respected by their younger counterparts. Confucius argued that family loyalty was ideal as far as government is concerned. He maintained that, powerful emperor was ideal but he desired that emperor’s power should be limited. He encouraged people to be honest and also to have faith that it was possible to have change (Eng, 2004, P.22).

Confucius was great Chinese Philosopher, thinker and scholar. Historians generally agree that Confucius was born in Zou village in 551 BCE and was named Kong Qiu. His father was called Kong Shu Lianghe and was a prominent military figure for his loyalty and courage. However, not much is known about Confucius mother except she was known as Yan.

It is believed by some historians that Confucius parents did not marry. Other historians believes that the parents were married and later on separated .Confucius parents are also believed to have died at an early age. It is believed that Confucius lost his father first and then her mother died a few years later.

Confucius birth was at a time when the Lu state was surrounded by other states. During this time, the Lu state was among three great families. There is little literature that exists concerning Confucius childhood.

However; Confucius confesses that he had a low status during his childhood. He explains that his lowly status made him to be skilled in various aspects. Confucius was unlucky in that, he never experienced his paternal love for long as he was brought up by his widowed mother. His mother however played an important role in his life by encouraging him to become a great scholar.

This implies that his home environment in early childhood was completely different from the kind of environment that existed in traditional society i.e. Confucius was brought up in a society where division of tasks did not exist. His mother thus played the role of the father in bringing up Confucius and it is through this that might have indirectly influenced Confucius to become a great thinker. Confucius was a very talented young man as he performed dramas during ceremonies.

Historians argue that Confucius was likely that he was among the lowest rank of noble class known as ‘Knights’. A knight by virtual of his nobility is capable of getting various jobs as a record keeper, overseer of music and rituals, secretary, organizer in major ceremonies e.t.c. Indeed, knights were highly rated professionals in 6th century BCE as they organized many ceremonies including marriages, funerals, sacrificial rituals e.t.c.

Confucius thus is believed to be one of the nobility members because he was able to access educational facilities probably in a neighboring school, or maybe he was able to learn through other noble children . Confucius was skilled in six fields i.e. mathematics, literature and history, charioteering, archery, music and rites and these were indeed noble accomplishments i.e. it takes extra hard work and determination to be conversant with these skills.

Confucian thus wrote six books and they being termed as six classics. These six classics included Poetry Book, History Book, Rites Book, Music Book and a book that talked about the seasonal changes i.e. spring and autumn. However, the Music Book was lost and therefore, the six classics eventually became the five classics.

Confucius in his middle age visited Qi which is located in the Northeast of Lu where he spoke to Qi’s king, Duke Jing. It is believed that Confucius was searching for a job in Qi state. Confucius returned to his country Lu at a time when the rebellion arose against the noble Ji family. He contemplated joining the rebellion as he believed that, the rebellion would help him gain a position where he can influence the government. This rebellion was however unsuccessful and he accepted some posts in Lu government despite the posts being minor.

He later on resigned as a result of being disgusted by dissatisfied with the behaviors of most officials in the government. This resignation rendered him jobless and in his early fifties, Confucius visited several states in search of employment. Among the states that he visited were Wei and Song where he was given minor jobs in courts and the income that he obtained helped him to meet some of his living expenses. Confucius was also married and had one child.

Scholars usually describe Confucius as a flexible person who didn’t have any egoism. This is true due to the fact that he never regarded himself as being cleverer than others. The only thing that he stated was that he loved to learn and that he was determined to seek knowledge as much as he could. He was also eager to teach others what he had acquired and in this he greatly contributed to the field of Philosophy (Rainey, 2010, P.16).

The main concepts of Confucianism are Jen, Li, Yi, Hsiao, Chih, Chun-tzu and Te. The ethics of Confucianism is constituted by Jen and Li moral principles. This moral architecture helps to define and sustain socially and acceptable conduct. Jen entails the capacity of acting in a kind and compassionate manner i.e. it signifies love and benevolence. Jen with regards to Confucianism focuses on an individual as compared to society.

Jen has a special meaning as far as Confucianism is concerned and it suggests that there is more than the difference between an individual and a group of people. According to Confucianism, the act of being human is the primary step of fulfilling love and benevolence. A person is termed to be Jen if he or she commits himself or herself to learn moral values. To be a jen, one must be human i.e. he or she must have human-heartedness, compassion, goodness, humanity, love among other virtues.

Confucius argues that these virtues are rarely fully expressed. He expressed that the true meaning of a Jen is to sacrifice one’s life in an effort to preserve these virtues. Confucius wished that people should show kindness unto others throughout the nation. According to him, Jen is the basis of all relationships and thus people should seek to show others love and benevolence i.e. jen.

The Li principle on the other hand is the code of behavior that is expected among people. According to Confucius, a prudent person does not engage in unjust actions. He argues that a wise person behaves with Li and also does not boast rather he or she is modest at all times.

According to him, Li serves four vital functions; firstly, Li helps controls the political class in their day to day activities. The government officials among them ministers should observe Li so as to effectively lead people. Li enhances loyalty and patriotism among the state officials and without Li, a nation is being subjected into chaos. Secondly, Confucius states that Li is an important socializing factor in that it enables people to exercise their control while dealing with others.

This in turn allows people to extend love to their fellow mankind. Thirdly; he states that Li serves the purpose of harmonizing both literature and arts. According to him, a man who has a detailed knowledge of arts and literature and in turn combines this knowledge with Li is unlikely to do wrong things. Lastly; Confucius states that Li plays an important role of building a person’s personality. According to him, politeness cannot be achieved if Li is not present.

The other main concepts of Confucianism are the Yi principle. Yi is the state of one being morally acceptable unto others. According to Confucius, the main purpose of Yi is to justify morality with regards to human actions. Thus, Yi is the basic law of morality as it confers the rightness or wrongness of human actions and in turn it creates a situation that satisfies people being moral agents. According to Confucian, people should perform only those actions that are deemed to be right irrespective of their consequences. He argues that acting according to Yi is like practicing Jen due to the fact that one acts due to the morality of actions and also due to respect for the humanity.

Hsiao is the other main concepts of Confucianism. According to this principle, children should learn to respect their parents for the sole reason that they originated from their parents. Parents are seen to have made much sacrifice and therefore, it is the duty of the children to make their family names to be respected.

Children are urged to consider the sacrifice that their parents made by bringing them into the world and in turn show them the much respect that they deserve. In addition, Hsiao implies that children should also accord their parents love in order that they can be blessed by their parents. Hsiao also implies that the children take over from their parents once they die by fulfilling their goals and objectives. Children are therefore required to have similar values as those of their parents.

Chih is the next main principle of Confucianism. Chih denotes moral wisdom and thus morality is the main idea behind this principle. Mencius contributed to Confucianism philosophy by arguing that everybody is born with good morals due to the fact that people recognizes the rightness and wrongness of actions by using their own mind.

According to Mencius, human beings are moral animals and thus, they are capable of doing well or to practice virtues according to Confucianism. Mencius in his view about Chih states that the survival needs by human beings are the main source of evil. In his argument, Mancius states that human beings usually feel that they disadvantaged by virtue of being moral. Human beings fail to establish the options that they have and in turn commit wrong actions.

The other principle of Confucianism is the Chun-tzu. According to Confucianism; a Chun-tzu refers to a person who possesses good moral values. In other words, a Chun-tzu person is the one who is mature. In traditional China, the society was divided with regards to decent of male lines and thus the scholars criticizes Confucius for believing that only males could become chun-tzu.

However, the term ‘gentleman’ has been considered ideal for referring to a chun-tzu as it can be applied to both males and females. According to Confucius, a person is thought to be gentleman by virtual of his birth i.e. if ones’ father was a noble or a gentleman, then the son automatically acquires the status of nobility and is thus regarded as a gentleman.

In his arguments, Confucius states that a person becomes a noble person or a gentleman as a result of steadfast learning. A gentleman is thus a person who is capable of improving a society. A gentleman should therefore act beyond his own ambitions. He should be intelligent and ready to confront any issue courageously.

Lastly, Te is the other key philosophy of Confucianism. Te refers to the ruling power i.e. the patterns which are used by the government in ruling its people. Basically, these patterns are deemed to be honest in order to ensure that the government enhances economic wellbeing of its people and also to ensure that the government has sufficient military in order to defend its citizens against any external aggression. It is also important for the government to be Te in order for the citizens to have confidence with it (Chung-Ying, 2010, P.3-17).

Confucianism principles are important to our society both professionally and personally as they are applied in the following ways; Confucianism principle plays an important role of uniting people form different backgrounds. The Jen principle in particular enables people to be personal responsible.

Confucius describes that a man ought to be strong, resolute and above all simple. This principle enables people to express love and benevolence. A to others and this in turn promotes peace in the world. Confucianism principles are humanistic implying that they are tends to understand one by focusing on him or her independently. These principles are thus applied in modern society as a means of achieving harmony through a clear understanding of individuals.

Confucianism principles enhance law and order in the society. Confucius in his principles emphasized the importance of showing respect to the authority.

He also advocated that the young should show respect to the old .Without respect, the world would be in chaos. Respect is an important value and therefore everybody deserves to respect other and also to be respected. Respect starts from an individual perspective before extending to others and therefore, Confucianism principles plays an important role in the society by ensuring that people lives harmoniously with one another (Yong, 2010, P.65-87).

Confucius principles are applicable to our society as they spread moral education throughout the society. With respect to litigation, the principles hold that everybody should be treated withy fairness and that there should be no favoritism. The principles play an important role in the modern times as they teach people that they should be guided by morality. The principles guide people to respect other people’s property. The principles argue that without rules governing property, chaos is bound to arise.

Confucianism principles advocate for sense of personal shame i.e. the Li principle. This principle is aimed at helping people to have moral shame and thus to act rightfully. This principle is important in modern society as it enables man to do just unto his fellow mankind.

Confucianism principles required that the government offices should be filled with men and women with creative judgment. This principle is applicable in modern society in that, it guides the authority to act properly in order to enhance the living conditions of the people whom they serve (Nivison, et.al., 1996, P.7).

Confucian Principles are used to enhance democracy in the world. The United States, Canada and other countries have applied the Confucian principles in ensuring that democracy is observed. This in turn has seen these countries achieve sustainable economic development and improved standards of living for their citizens.

Confucius focused his philosophy and life on how harmony can be achieved in the society. Confucius believed that maintaining proper among the members of the society was the key to peaceful coexistence.

He strongly supported core family relationships especially the relationships between fathers and their sons as well as the relationships between married couples. He believed that strong family relationships results to stability and in turn harmony would reverberate throughout the country. These facility relationships are applicable in the modern society.

Confucianism principles have been the driving force behind cultures of many nations around the world particularly China and Korea. These principles have been applied in many aspects among them in marriages, politics e.t.c. (Yao, 2000, P.56-57)

Confucius played an important role of shaping the modern society. His philosophical works are important as the concepts apply to our society both professionally and personally.

Confucius believed that peaceful coexistence among the members of the society depended on the relationships between people and thus it is important for people to love one another and also extend compassion, kindness and caring. Confucianism upholds that humanness is the key to a healthy society. For the world to survive and be free form any form of chaos, it is important that it preserve the Confucian teachings.

Reference List

Chung-Ying, C. (2010). Developing Confucian Onto-Ethics in a Postmodern World/Age. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 37(1), 3-17.

Eng, P. (2004). Kungfu Basics. Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing.

Nivison, T., et al. (1996).The ways of Confucianism: investigations in Chinese Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court Publishing.

Rainey, J. (2010).Confucius and Confucianism: The Essentials. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Yao, X. (2000). An introduction to Confucianism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Yong, H. (2010). Confucius And Mencius On The Motivation To Be Moral. Philosophy East & West, 60(1), 65-87.

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How is Mencius theory different than Confucius? Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Both Mencius and Confucius were renowned Chinese thinkers whose theories played a significant role in the general Chinese history. Confucius was no doubt the most acclaimed philosopher Chinese has ever had. He was best known to be the founding father of the Confucian School of Thought, which would greatly influence social and political life in China (Tu 33).

The philosophical approach of Confucius, well-defined as ‘Confucianism’ emphasized on core aspects such government as well as personal morality, justice and sincerity, and social relationships’ correctness. Mencius on the other hand, was the other authoritative thinker China has ever seen after Confucius. Just like his predecessor, Mencius was an itinerant Chinese sage and philosopher who was popular for his outstanding interpretations on Confucianism.

As the most outstanding thinker in the history of Confucianism, Mencius would formulate a detailed view of human nature, a significant subject which Confucius had failed to observe in his vast observations. This paper examines some of the ways by which Mencius philosophical theory would be different from that one of Confucius.

In real sense, both Mencius and Confucius didn’t have same feelings or perceptions for the Chinese society. Confucius played a significant role of setting a thinking platform for other philosophers, such as Mencius who’d come after him and who would use most of his theories to interpret their own theories and perceptions.

As it would be observed, Confucianism would end up becoming the ideology of the state in the course of the time when Han Wudi ruled the Chinese Empire. Confucianism was mainly based on humanism and it’s observation were clear that humans can be improvable and teachable in all manners through communal and also personal endeavor that would include self-creation and self-cultivation (Tu 18).

Mencius’s theoretical approach, on the other hand, expressed views totally different from those of Confucius. For instance, about human nature, humans do share a common innate perfectness or goodness and either can easily be cultivated through self discipline or education or get squandered through negatives influences, but not to be lost altogether.

According to Mencius, people would come first while Nations and Empires would follow in the line. To crown it all, the Emperor would be the least important according to the views of Mencius.

This argument was actually not one of the friendly observations that would be certain to receive great acclaim from the Emperors and would definitely have to tolerate strong rebellions on tyrannical leaders of the Ancient Chinese society. Whereby Confucianism had required all civilians and officials to exercise utmost loyalty and respect on their leaders (Emperors), Mencius’s views would be violating this observation in some way.

Another notable manner by which Mencius theory would be different from that of Confucius is that, Mencius was against the belief that human beings make up the sovereign. He however observed that, for one to be the Son of Heaven, they should follow the path of Ren Yi which was translated as honest and mercy.

This theory further asserted that, leaders and rulers should not only be honest and merciful to their subjects but they should also try to honest and merciful to people from other regions including rival nations and states. In this regard, people would not be the means for the mandate of heaven path and not the ends. However, since human’s general well-being is taken to be the main foundation towards the Ren Yi path, people are one of the core factors contributing to the mandate of heaven.

According to Shun, what Mencius was trying to observe here was that, it is possible for one come to this world as a ruler but there is no way one can be born as a Son of Heaven (77). The Path to Ren Yi is the basis upon where the legitimacy of a monarch exists. Once a ruler happens to violate Ren Yi, then, they are observed to be simply rulers and tyrannies.

Confucianism, on the other hand, would observe a ruler’s legitimacy to come from his birth. In Confucius’s point of view, Zhou King will remain to be the son of Heaven in all cases. A new Son of Heaven can rise and start ruling only when the sitting King starts behaving in manners that don’t define him a king.

In this regard, lowers and commoners would not be allowed rebel for this would break the Order of Rites (Li Jiao). A Son of Heaven would not be identified until by the people until they succeed, and in case they don’t, they would not be regarded as Son’s of Heaven. In Confucianism, you would be wrong to rebel if you are not the Son of Heaven. However, there is simply no way one will have to know this until their throne extends for several decades, without them having to rebel.

These actually are some of the notable differences that would be observed between the two philosophers in their influential theories. One can generally conclude that Mencius interpreted in his own thoughts whatever Confucius had observed, providing a deeper but often controversial meaning to his facts (Shun 54).

The philosophical concerns of both Confucius and Mencius have had a significant impact in the history of Chinese. In fact, no matter the differences that may exist in the perspective of these two great thinkers, their philosophical contribution to the Chinese societies have always formed part of the modern way of life followed by the citizens of China in their own concepts.

Works Cited

Shun, Kwong-Loi. Mencius and early Chinese thought. New York: Stanford University Press, 1997. Print.

Tu, Wei-Ming. “Confucius and Confucianism.” Confucianism and the family 17. 5 (1998): 3-36. Print.

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Characteristics of “The gentleman,” according to Confucius Report (Assessment)

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

The gentleman, according to Confucius is simply a man of virtue. Confucius teachings explained the characteristics of a gentleman as a superior man, a man at his best, and a portrayer of authentic manhood. Meaning is added to the relationship between human beings referred to as Jen by Confucius by incorporating the idealness of the terms of human relationships (Chun-Tzu). Confucius states that there are five major characteristics that make up a true gentleman which are humility, sincerity, graciousness, magnanimity, and diligence.

According to him, an individual who can practice all five of them can be considered as a superior man/ a portrayer of true manhood or put a gentleman. From the teachings of Confucius, there is no indication that a gentleman looks upon his endeavors and looks down upon those below him; but rather a gentleman’s endeavors pull others towards him (Damrosch et al. 600).

Confucius says that humility and sincerity make others put their trust in a person. He states further that humbleness comes with respect; being magnanimous attracts many to one’s side and getting along with one’s subordinates you need to be gracious.

Confucius’ understanding of his relationship to others whether above or below him is pegged on the characteristics that refer to a person as a gentleman, a man of virtue. According to him, a man of this nature that encompasses all these characteristics is a force that can bring change to society and turn it into a peaceful environment, the state it was and is meant to be.

Another understanding of his relationship with others is found in his belief that each person within the society should act his/her proper part so that society would be better organized. He believes and states that the ruler of an empire should be a ruler while the subject a subject; the father should be a father while the son a son. This shows that he believes in everyone having a specific role to play and should not take up another’s role (Damrosch et al. 602).

Reading Journal Prompt for the Quran: Experience reading the Quran

The reading in the Quran that touches on Heaven, Hell, and Death is a complex through a straightforward recitation to understand the passage of reading. After the reading, one is left wondering whether the characters and events mentioned and referred to extensively in the text are realistic.

There are character and events that come out vividly and leave a yearning of meeting them and experiencing them. This yearning to experience does not mean that the character or events in any way appeal to the reader but the reader feels that for better understanding, it would be better if they were to meet with the character and interact.

From the study of the Quran, it becomes evident that recital of the Holy Qur’an appears to have psychological and physiological benefits. It “appears to reduce a reader’s perceived stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure” (Damrosch et al. 289). This feeling can’t be found with the recital of secular materials written in the same lingo as the Qur’an. Other texts that have the same effect as the Quran are religious materials such as the bible. The Quran describes heaven and hell figuratively, and it further states when this occurs within the text.

The complexity of the reading and where most readers find it hard to understand is on the issue of death. The Quran explains death as a great mystery to most people. However, scholars/students of the Quran can understand the deeper meaning of death. We learn that death is exactly like sleeping, complete with dreams. One point that was especially hard to understand is the aftermath. A point of conflict is whether the righteous die or go straight to heaven (Damrosch et al. 290).

Works Cited

Damrosch, David et al. The Longman Anthology of World Literature: The Ancient World, the Medieval Era, and the Early Modern Period. Canada: Pearson Education Canada, 2008. Print.

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Confucius and His Philosophy Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

How was Confucius a revolutionary?

Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, was a Chinese philosopher who lived between 551 B.C. and 479 B.C. He founded the school of thought, Confucian, which made much revolutionaries in the political and social arena of the Chinese people. Indeed, Confucius was a revolutionary leader who sought to liberate people from extremist Chinese leaders. Confucius was born in a humble background and remained unemployed for a long time.

However, at one point in his life, Confucius joined the government as a tax collector. The social conditions of the people living in abject poverty left him unsettled though working for the government. Contrary to the expectations of the Chinese people, this situation disenfranchised Confucius up to the point of leaving his government post. He embarked in the mission of preaching ethics and good moral standards to the leaders who has chosen the exact opposite.

He managed to hoard ample political power to create a new dynasty and agreed to work with the Zhou dynasty in the East. Later on, the states rejected his teachings but he returned home and continued his teachings. Nevertheless, his philosophies had spread near and far through disciples such as Mencius and Xun Zi who made sure Confucianism became a moral and political dogma- a revolution achieved diametrically (Confucius and Leys 1-14).

How was Confucius a conservative?

It is true Confucius and hence, Confucianism was a conservative religion that served to strengthen established institutions and hoary social dissections. So many scholars have agues on whether Confucius was a conservative or enterprising. For instance, in his teachings, Confucius called for a positive spirit in governance.

Additionally, Confucius highlighted more on the significance of morality and instigated the convention of recognition about history. Eventually, these ingredients of conservatism led to the development of a universal cultural psychology foundation of the Han Nation. On the contrary, the ethical visions of Confucius appeared to conflict the legalistic mindset. At one point, the imperial state employed Confucian values to maintain law and order.

In fact, even in imperial families, the Confucian values became imperative where children had to respect parents, be trustworthy to the government and respect other society members. Professionals had to remain loyal to their work for instance, teachers had to remain teachers and practice ethics in teaching. Undoubtedly, Confucius exhibited conservatism and sought to maintain the status quo where institutions and social divisions remain, as they were (Confucius and Leys 23-41).

How was Confucius democratic?

Many people do not share the view that Confucius was democratic. It simply instructed people to obey, for instance, children had to obey their parents just like wives to their husbands. The students had to remain students and obey their teachers and the subjects had to comply with the emperors.

Clearly, the expression of self was limited and even if one had contrary views regarding something, the views of the superiors were final. Thus, the system advocated for obedience and not democracy. In the modern society, Confucius has no place, as elitist social class has discovered how Confucius can deny people their human rights and fundamental freedoms (Chuan 20-21).

How was Confucius an elitist?

It is true Confucius was as elitist who wrote much and attracted many scholars into his school of thought. Although some scholars criticize his writings, Confucius came up with philosophies brought ethics and morality in the traditional China. We can compare Confucius elastic nature with the left wind ideology of the founding fathers of United States as both advocated for ethics and justice to all human beings. The theories of Confucius remained resonate and sired new ideologies and enhanced social theorizing (Confucius and Leys 8-22).

Works Cited

Confucius and Leys, Simon. The Analects of Confucius. (Paperback Edition). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 1997. Print.

Chuan, Yang. Religion in Chinese Society, Berkeley: University of California Press. 1961. Print.

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Effective Reasons to Support the Idea of Confucius Classrooms Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

A number of different schools promote education and Americans’ awareness of different cultures, peculiarities, and backgrounds that aim at improving human lives. This is why if people want to know more about one particular country, they can easily choose the school and get proper education. According to Confucius, knowledge may be defined in the following way: “when you know something, recognize that you know it, and when you don’t know something, recognize that you don’t know it.

That’s knowledge” (Freedman 16). Such definite and clear understanding deserves attention and recognition, and it is not a surprise that people are eager to create schools on such basis and share Confucius’ ideas all over the whole world. So many people are eager to become an integral part of Chinese culture and rely on the ideas offered by Confucius in order to get a chance to enjoy this life, evaluate ethical norms from another perspective, and clear up how to gain complete satisfaction.

Confucius Classrooms are characterized by many positive and powerful aspects that help to promote such schools in future: people are eager to learn different cultures and have a chance to study them from original sources that are available in Confucius Classrooms; the development of such networks does not prevent the development of other educational spheres; and finally, these schools represent a really high quality of Chinese language education in the United States of America.

Confucius Classrooms are one of the possible examples of how people organize their work and attempts to study Chinese culture, language, traditions, and cognition of this world. Confucius Classrooms turn out to be a good opportunity for different people to learn deeper Chinese basics.

The establishment of “58 Confucius classrooms in 81 countries” (Kavalski 88) seems to be a good proof that such schools are obligatory and interesting for people of different cultures. For a long period of time, Confucius Classrooms have been developed in many states, and one of the most successful examples is the Confucius Institute in Florida that aim “to develop closer ties with China through Chinese language instruction and cultural exchange” (University of South Florida para. 2).

Some people may wonder whether it is so important to develop such close relations with China and to spend so much time, money, and efforts in order to implement Confucius Classrooms.

Witness for this development, it is necessary to underline the fact that “China has always been a very important partner” (Brzezinski para.1) of many states in America and has always been a good example in the financial, economic, and manufacturing spheres. In order to learn and realize what makes this country so powerful and able to take leading positions, it is better to provide American students with a chance to gain proper skills and knowledge and to communicate with the representatives of this country at the proper high level.

The results of properly developed relations will be beneficial for both countries, and what is more important, Americans will learn better the ways of how China becomes so powerful and will be able to use the same ways to benefit as well.

The main point about all these Confucius Classrooms is that Chinese do not want to impose Americans study Chinese language and culture. What the representatives of these classrooms do is “developing the field of Chinese language teaching in American schools” (Asia Society para 1). If people want to study, they have such an opportunity; if people do not want to deal with a foreign culture and language, they are welcome to neglect the offers and be interested into those spheres that are necessary for them.

The most important argument to support the development of Confucius Classrooms is all about knowledge. When people are aware of something, they certainly know how to use this knowledge and what the outcomes of this awareness may be. China is a powerful country, and Americans have to consider its power and efforts to know its weaknesses and shortages.

Only in case American people are aware of Chinese efforts, plans, and abilities, it becomes possible for Americans to take the steps that are more serious and benefit from this knowledge. As a rule, human power is in human knowledge, and if these Confucius Classrooms help to enlarge the level of knowledge, American people should make use of such possibility and define how to become more powerful and better than Chinese people are now.

In general, Confucius Classrooms that are connected to Chinese-funded US education have a number of positive feedbacks and supporters. Due to a considerable number of these classrooms, many Americans have already got an opportunity to study Chinese language, culture, and all those historical aspects that make this country as powerful as it is right now.

Those people who want to know more about foreign country and the ways of how its success has been achieved should find the proposition to implement more Confucius Classrooms and change the way of how Americans think about Chinese people.

Works Cited

Adelman, Hacienda. “Chinese Gov’t School Grant Divides SoCal Community.” The Seattle Times. 2010. Web.

Asia Society Confucius Classrooms Network.” Asia Society. 2010. Web.

Bledsoe, Deb, C. “UCPS Receives National Grant for Chinese Program.” Union County Public Schools. 2010. Web.

Brzezinski, Joan. Interview with Megan Conley. Confucius Classrooms Change the Face of Chinese Education in Minnesota. 2010. Web.

Confucius Institute.” University of South Florida. 2010. Web.

Freedman, Russell. Confucius: The Golden Rule. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2002.

Kavalski, Emilian. China and the Global Politics of Regionalization. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing, 2009.

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Comparison between Confucius and Han Feizi Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

The two were critical thinkers of rulers during the eastern Zhou dynasty. The reign of this dynasty was in 771 BC after the death of the western dynasty. Confucius was highly critical of the kings that were leading in that time. He constantly bombarded them with policies that he wished would be adopted in ruling the people of the dynasty.

Most of the time, the king turned him away. When he realized that the administration was not heeding to his advice, he went ahead to tour the world and convince other kings to follow his ways. None of the leaders listened to him and later he returned to china’s eastern Zhou dynasty. Even after returning, the kings did no heed to the advice.

Han Fei developed his thoughts, Han Feizi, during that time. The thoughts bear his name for recognition. Han Fei was a member of a royal setting. He lived during a time when leaders had adopted so much Confucianism in their policies.

He was highly critical of that leadership, and even attributed it to the warring states war of 475-221 BC. Apart from the fact that he said Confucianism was responsible for the wars that were beleaguering the country; he also was extremely critical of morals and societal rotting that he witnessed. He also had ways that he wanted the kings to govern: the kings ignored it.

Confucius: Attitudes, Philosophies and Ideas

Confucius was a great entrepreneur and was also a formidable force to reckon with on the political scene. He served in the Zhou dynasty for four years. He was later dismissed for he presented policies that were in contravention with the kings. He is renowned as the greatest educationalist in china and his ideas were followed and studied by many students in his time. On matters concerning politics, he was a fervent adherer to integrity and good morals.

He was against the wars that beleaguering the administration during that time. Therefore, he was an ambassador for peace and his kings, on the other hand, were advocates for war. In his teachings and his advice to the leadership of the dynasty, it is widely noted that human beings were the focal point of his attention. He always wanted good relationships to be formed among people. He also wanted the leadership to be responsible for their actions and inactions.

On the issue of development, he was categorical that it is morally bad to grow on that frontier and ignore other frontiers like cultural growth. He solidly believed that both should be seen to mature together as they are intertwined. At some point, he believed, the two will need each other and hence it would be best to grow simultaneously rather than individually. He ideally believed that the world is made in such a way that all should be in harmony.

Therefore, in his advocacy for this, he taught people to be kind, not only to their fellow human beings, but also to animals, plantations and all that existed within and around them. Han Fei believed there was no need to uphold things that were cultural and ritualistic. These two were largely mentioned by Confucius which puts him in sharp contrast with Confucianism. During his time, the cultural state of china was greatly respected and people associated with their culture.

Han Feizi: Attitudes, Philosophies and Ideas

Han Fei died as a young man. He took poison in prison where he was held by the king for contravening his leadership. Before he died, the kind had realized his mistake and wanted to pardon him. Initially, he had been taken in by the king after the king noted his brilliant writings concerning leadership. Though the king was later advised by his aides that Han Fei was a bad man, he had confidence in him at first.

He had workable ideas concerning leadership. He advocated for rules and regulations and laws. The law of a country, Han Fei believed, was the main determinant of her strength or perceived weakness. Countries that upheld law were strong and those that did not were weak. The people in the country should be seen to have strict adherence to the regulations and laws that govern them.

When the public is content with the legalism of a nation, the country, Han Fei wrote, grows on many frontiers including economic, political and social. When a country lacks in legalism, it crumbles on those frontiers and institutions are not respected. There is also public grief towards leadership which may cause havoc.

He also pegged the security of a nation, on a number of areas, to how lawful it was. He said that countries where the private sector is regulated and correctly subdued, there was notable growth. However, if the private sector was rogue and uncontrollable, the country loses meaning and many of its institutions crumble. He also applied this to external threats saying that any country, whose internal legal system was credible, appeared to be strong to its enemies. The reverse is true for any country whose internal legal systems are weak.

In governing a country, Han Fei said it was important to have morals but they did not supersede the need for regulation. Regulation was the basis from which morality was born according to Han Fei. This is in sharp contrast with Confucianism and hence the reason why Han Fei was critical of leaders who employed during his time.

He also seemed to have a soft spot for leadership. He said that it was important for a leader to enjoy legal freedom so as to be able to govern. However, Confucius was of the opinion that leadership should be the initial demonstrators of good morals and hence punished first in case they contravened the same. In Han Fei’s opinion, this served the purpose of weakening them. During his time, there was little, or dwindling, regard for cultural ways of the Chinese.

Han Fei also said that commendation was very important. Leaders should employ it and use often to motivate its delegations. When a minister does something good he should praised and honored. On the contrary, Han Fei said this should go hand in hand with chastisements.

Ministers who violate the king’s orders should be reprimanded and possible relieved of his duties. However, his idea for chastisement was highly controversial. This includes torture, death and imprisonment. Commendation is in form of rewards, gifts and accolades. This style of leadership was very common soon after the death of Han Fei. The kings that ruled thereafter were very happy since they could easily pass on their helm to their family putting into consideration Han Fei’s easy ride to it.

Opinion on Cause of Violence and How to Resolve Conflict

On many instances, it is noted that Han Fei and Confucius were on the same page on some issues. They agreed on government presence, but differed on structure. During their time there was violence and they developed different reasons that the violence was there. Han Fei attributed it to Confucianism saying it was wrong to think that it would help governments. He advocated for strict adherences to law with leaders having absolute power.

This manner of resolving conflict worked although it led to oppression of the people. In modern times, it is attributable to the dictatorships that followed. However, as radical as were the advocacies, the authoritarianism of dictators is no longer a recommended way of governing a people in the current world.

Confucius advocated for a harmonious living between people. The power he said was in the people. Everyone, including the leaders was under the umbrella of proper morals which he said was the linen from which the peace of the country was to be made. He advocated for utmost integrity.

This is still practiced in china and all over the world. Confucianism is a great way to govern people as it recognizes their rights. It does not oppress any one like is the case in Han Feizi. Leaders are held accountable for their actions and there is no absolute power. It also encompasses even the most recent concerns of our times like environment. Confucius advised people to live harmoniously with everything that were at their disposal, including objects.

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The Analects of Confucius Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Confucius: Thoughts and Beliefs

The thoughts and sayings of Confucius can be referred to as analects of Confucius. They enjoy readership from generation to generation. They also remain quite relevant to today’s leadership. His teachings were quite phenomenon and applicable. Many of these teachings reflect on his life as a child. Also, most of his teachings are a reflection of his desire of how life should be in all aspects. This includes his views on leadership, social life and people.

He was against the leadership of the day. This put him in collision with the leadership of the day. He fled to another country. He served in the government of the day but for a short time. After returning, he set out his desire to pass down to his followers his teachings. Many people listened to the teachings of Confucius. He later died and his teachings enjoy readership in history lessons as classics as noted by Norden (45).

The teachings of this ruler, who was exceedingly revered in his reign during the Zhou dynasty, are quite applicable in today’s world. Confucius advocated for a harmonious living between people. The power he said was in the people. Everyone, including the leaders was under the umbrella of proper morals, which he said, was the linen from which the peace of the country was to be made. He advocated for utmost integrity.

This is still practiced in china and all over the world. Confucianism is an excellent way to govern people as it recognizes their rights. It does not oppress any one. Leaders are accountable for their actions. There is no room for absolute power. It also encompasses even the most recent concerns of the current times like environment. Confucius advised people to live harmoniously with everything that were at their disposal, including objects (Norden, 13).

On the issue of development, he was categorical that it is morally unacceptable to grow on that frontier and ignore other frontiers like cultural growth. He solidly believed that both should be seen to mature together as they intertwine. At some point, he believed, the two will need each other and hence it would be best to grow simultaneously rather than individually. He ideally believed that the world is made in such a way that all should be in harmony.

Therefore, in his advocacy for this, he taught people to be kind, not only to their fellow human beings, but also to animals, plantations and all that existed within and around them. Confucius believed there is a need to uphold things that were cultural and ritualistic. These two were largely mentioned by in his teachings and writings. These teachings are other wise called analects of Confucius. During his time, the cultural state of china was greatly respected and people associated with their culture (Norden, 3).

Applicability of Analects

These teachings of Confucius are quite applicable in the current world. His fervent beliefs in matters like environment are a headache to governments at the moment. Most governments are grappling with the problem of global warming and it remains to be the most challenging governments’ affair in the next century.

Therefore, his belief that people should live harmoniously with the environment is manifesting itself big-time. He was also a crusader for transparency in governments and public institutions. This also remains quite a challenge for governments. This is especially true in third world countries. These countries are grappling with the problem.

His ideal style of leadership which vests power in people is still practiced the world over. It was the reason for revolutions that were witnessed thereafter the world over. This was because people wanted to gain the power. He also wanted people to live in peace and have constant realization of the environment in which they lived in.

Confucius believed that people should also uphold their cultures. Lack of that, Confucius reiterated, led to lost identity. This is quite true in many countries who keep trying to uphold their identity. This is in forma of many ways including setting up museums and cultural centers (Norden, 23).

Overall, the analects of Confucius continue to shape the leadership of the moment in many ways. His societal dimensions in teachings are quite manifest in the world. His presence is felts in all aspects on human living. The leaders of his time ignored his teachings and at some time threatened to jail him.

However, he still rules as his values and teachings are the basis of policy making and leadership style in many countries. Compared to leaders of Sayers of his day like Han Feizi, his teachings have continued to stand the test of time. He had workable ideas concerning leadership. He advocated for rules and regulations and laws. The law of a country, Han Fei believed, was the main determinant of her strength or perceived weakness.

Countries that upheld law were strong and those that did not were weak. The people in the country should be seen to have strict adherence to the regulations and laws that govern them. When the public is content with the legalism of a nation, the country, Han Fei wrote, grows on many frontiers including economic, political and social. When a country lacks in legalism, it crumbles on those frontiers and institutions are not respected. There is also public grief towards leadership which may cause havoc.

He also pegged the security of a nation, on a number of areas, to how lawful it was. He said that countries where the private sector is regulated and correctly subdued, there was notable growth. However, if the private sector was rogue and uncontrollable, the country loses meaning and many of its institutions crumble. He also applied this to external threats saying that any country, whose internal legal system was credible, appeared to be strong to its enemies. The reverse is true for any country whose internal legal systems are weak (Norden, 45).

In governing a country, Han Fei said it was important to have morals but they did not supersede the need for regulation. Regulation was the basis from which morality was born according to Han Fei. This is in sharp contrast with Confucianism and hence the reason why Han Fei was critical of leaders who employed during his time.

He also seemed to have a soft spot for leadership. He said that it was important for a leader to enjoy legal freedom so as to be able to govern. However, Confucius was of the opinion that leadership should be the initial demonstrators of good morals and hence punished first in case they contravened the same. In Han Fei’s opinion, this served the purpose of weakening them. During his time, there was little, or dwindling, regard for cultural ways of the Chinese according to (Norden, 47).

Han Fei also said that commendation was very important. Leaders should employ it and use often to motivate its delegations. When a minister does something good he should praised and honored. On the contrary, Han Fei said this should go hand in hand with chastisements.

Ministers who violate the king’s orders should be reprimanded and possible relieved of his duties. However, his idea for chastisement was highly controversial. This includes torture, death and imprisonment. Commendation is in form of rewards, gifts and accolades. This style of leadership was very common soon after the death of Han Fei. The kings that ruled thereafter were very happy since they could easily pass on their helm to their family putting into consideration Han Fei’s easy ride to it.

Confucius advocated for a harmonious living between people. The power he said was in the people. Everyone, including the leaders was under the umbrella of proper morals which he said was the linen from which the peace of the country was to be made. He advocated for utmost integrity.

This is still practiced in china and all over the world. Confucianism is a great way to govern people as it recognizes their rights. It does not oppress any one like is the case in Han Feizi. Leaders are held accountable for their actions and there is no absolute power. It also encompasses even the most recent concerns of our times like environment. Confucius advised people to live harmoniously with everything that were at their disposal, including objects (Norden, 45).

Conclusion

Confucius was the father of Confucianism which is majorly practiced the world over. It is especially true in china. Chinese people revere Confucius for the manner in which he has shaped the politics of the nation up to date. Although he may have been unpopular with the leaders of the yester years, he is remarkably popular with the current leaders who look up to him for leadership ways.

He also remains to be the most popular. He spirit lives on and is manifest in the many ways his teachings affect people, both socially and leadership wise as noted by Norden (14).

Works Cited

Norden, Van. Confucius and the Analects: New Essays. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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Confucius’ Teachings of the Basis Systems – Philosophy Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

The teachings of Confucius form the basis of many political and social systems in China. In addition, other Asian countries have embraced the teachings of Confucius or Confucianism. In these readings, an overview of Confucius as a citizen, teacher, and politician is offered. These readings explore the most relevant teachings according to Confucianism.

The readings reveal that Confucius and his teachings became prominent in China and abroad even in the midst of other contrasting philosophies. In addition, the readings point out the fact that the teachings of Confucius have withstood the test of time several centuries after they were first propagated. This paper is a reflection on the readings about Confucius.

One of the things that are interestingly revealed by these readings is that the teachings of Confucius were able to rise above his personality. In most occasions, the teachings of philosophers are not able to go beyond their founding personalities. For instance, the philosophy of Confucius was later known as Confucianism. Confucianism is a philosophy that offers guidelines concerning people’s lifestyle and way of thinking.

These two aspects have little to do with Confucius’ personal traits and preferences. As a teacher, Confucius taught about a way of life that was feasible to people from all walks of life. According to the teachings, Confucianism does not alienate any social class or gender. Consequently, ‘Confucius the teacher’ rises above ‘Confucius the former aristocrat’. In the course of Confucian philosophy, the teachings rise above the core abilities/inabilities of human beings.

The readings on Confucius also reveal that he was adamant about the attainment of virtue. For instance, Confucius used virtue to rank and categorize his students and disciples. Henceforth, Confucianism and virtue are intertwined. Almost all religions that are operational around the world today lean towards the element of virtue. However, unlike most religions Confucianism is built on the premise of human beings attaining virtue. In this regard, these readings place Confucius in the league of other famous prophets and philosophers in history.

It is important to note that Confucius’ teachings on virtue were later echoed in Christianity through Jesus Christ. Confucius summarized his teachings into two aspects; loyalty and reciprocity. On the other hand, Jesus summarized Christianity into two commandments; love and loyalty to God and love and respect to fellow human beings. Although Confucianism is several centuries older than Christianity, and both systems existed thousands of miles apart, there are striking resemblances between the two orders.

The simplicity of Confucianism underlines the superiority of Confucius as a teacher. From the readings on Confucius, it is apparent that the philosopher was able to simplify complex aspects of human life. For example, Confucius outlined that his teachings were not to be memorized but they were a matter of principal. This sentiment means that the teachings of Confucius are more understandable than debatable. In one instance, Confucius said that no person should “seek life at the expense of humanity” (Last name 27).

This simple statement underlines the role ‘voluntary virtue’ plays in the life of human beings. In another instance, Confucius described a wholesome human being as one who is humane, wise, and brave. Therefore, the humaneness will eliminate anxieties, the wisdom gets rid of perplexities, and the braveness eliminates fear from human existence.

These readings offer insight into the life and teachings of one of the most relevant philosophers in the history of human existence. Confucius as the founder of Confucianism taught about a social, natural, and moral order. The readings also highlight the place of Confucianism among other global religions and philosophies.

Works Cited

Last name, First name. “Confucius.” Book Title, City of Publication: Publisher, Year Published. 15-33. Print.

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The Analects of Confucius Report

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

The analects of Confucius is an influential form of literature for the Asian society. This book was translated by Legge James in honour of the original work written by Confucius (K’ung Fu-Zi) who was a popular Chinese philosopher.

As translated by Legge, this book emphasises on the need to adhere to one’s traditions and above all, it advocates for acceptable human behaviour that is guided by virtues rather than laws “If they be led by virtue and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety… and moreover will become good.” (2:10).

Having lived from 552 B.C through to 479 B.C Confucius was very popular among the Asians as his teachings emphasised on individual integrity and good governance that was centred on good morals and ethics.

This write up is going to summarise the major themes captured in the book, critically analyse the contents of the book and its impacts on the Asian community before highlighting the major interesting concepts captured and finally portray the importance of the book.

Themes captured in the book

The central theme of this book calls for people to embrace humanity by virtue of being good. The book states that when an individual is good and has some sense of shame, then, and only then, can we say that, that individual is not guided by law but rather by good virtues.

The book also emphasises that an individual with good virtues is also in a position to influence the people around him to emulate his philosophy of good deeds. This is well illustrated when Legge translates, “He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.” (2:1).

Another recurring theme in this book is the theme of obedience. The book has played a lot of emphasis on the need to obey our seniors, our rules and the governing laws. The argument presented states that, superior people in the society are more inclined to making rational arguments as compared to their junior’s “The superior man bends his attention to what is radical”(1:10).

Therefore, through obedience a chain of hierarchy that is very important in the Asian society is achieved. Such a hierarchy forms the root of acceptable human conduct as individuals are accountable to the system and thus they become submissive to the system.

This book also emphasises on family values that call for children to be loyal and devoted to their guardians. This therefore outlines the filial concept as translated by Legge “It is not being disobedient.” (2:6). The book highlights that being filial calls for truthfulness, faithfulness and being caring. Therefore to have a well balanced society, filiality is a necessity as it has a lot of bearing in achieving a harmonious society where everyone is respected and cared for.

Further, according to this book, human beings need one another in order to become empowered. And therefore, this calls for acts of kindness as translated by Legge “If the will be set on virtue, there will be no practise of wickedness.”(4:9). Empowering others calls for individuals who are self giving and kind enough to propel others towards achieving their individual goals and as such, the goals of the society.

The book believes in the ability of human beings to change and better their lives and the lives of those around them. In view of this belief as translated by Legge, Confucius calls for the society to embrace learning and the thirst to gain more knowledge.

Legge reports that without the dire need to gain knowledge, the society is subject to foolishness and ridicule as non amongst them will be in a position to balance their virtues for the good of all. Further, as illustrated by legge, with knowledge, the society is able to learn their truths “I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself”(7:20).

The book has greatly emphasised on the need for society to conform to guided traditions and beliefs. It has also emphasised on the need for young people to follow through the teachings of their elders in order to learn from them on how to conduct themselves and govern their properties.

The book is so adamant on the need to adhere to traditions to the extent that it does not advocate for individuals whose acts, words or deeds are contrary to what they believe in or what their traditions and society expects of them “Look not at what is contrary to propriety” (12:7).

Critique of the book

After a thorough review of this book, it was quite evident that unlike many followed philosophies or teachings that are based on the belief of a supernatural being or a creator, this book did not dwell on such ideologies but rather, dealt on helping human beings better govern their governments and the society at large. Further, the lack of a specific religious ideology in this book makes it more appealing to an audience that is not confined to the Asian Society.

The value and emphasis that the book places on the need to have a government and a society that is conscious of its moral and ethical standing, is admirable though not practical in this century. This is because; the teachings confine human beings to doing good deeds and working towards achieving a perfect being. The teachings do not tolerate mistakes and neither do they advocate for any human behaviour or conduct that is short of righteousness thus, questioning the practicality of the teachings in the society.

The fact that the book upholds traditions portrays the laxity on embracing change and advocating for creativity. The argument on sticking to traditions is not in line with the emergence of globalisation, where people are open to exchanging ideas, cultures, languages and strategies.

This is a global trend that has also captured the eye of the Asian society being addressed by this book. Further, conforming to what the society expects by making our decisions and leading a life that is in accordance to the teachings of our elders is a hindrance to proliferation of innovative strategies.

Impacts of Confucianism on the Chinese/Asian society

The philosophy of Confucianism has influenced the Asian society that firmly believes in the teachings of Confucius in various ways. For instance, over the years the Asian society has demonstrated strong family values that are enviable. It is also important to note that, the Asian society is among the world renowned communities that are keen on adhering to their traditions.

Of particular interest, is the adherence to Asian culture through dress code, food, teachings and rituals. All this are centred on improving physical, emotional and mental attributes. And as such, such traditions have continuously been passed down from one generation to the next.

Throughout the years, the Asian society has been governed through a hierarchical system as advocated for by Confucianism. This system stands for good morals and ethics. The governing system of the Asian societies recognises the elderly people as the stewards of the community as depicted in the book. It further advocates for accountability and integrity on the part of the leading fraternity. Therefore, this book has helped the Asian society shape the nature of their associations by placing emphasis on Confucianism teachings.

Impressive concepts captured in the book

While I was reading this book, there were various recurring concepts that were very interesting in terms of arguments translated by Legge. For instance the fact that Confucius was very concerned about being humane and provoking other people to follow through such teachings of kindness was very touching in the sense that he was crying out for humanity.

Further the diction that he uses to define filiarity “It is not being disobedient.” is rather impressive because he uses humour to capture the attention of the reader (2:6). The teachings on the importance of virtue towards achieving societal harmony were very realistic and thus compelling the readers to believe that they have a role to play therefore, making the book interesting.

The book’s emphasis on being respectful especially to our seniors depicted Confucius view of young people and what he expected of them “A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders” 1:24.

Further it was very interesting to learn that the decisions that our senior’s make are based on their radical thinking thus linking them to the character of leaders. In addition, the book had other interesting concepts that are important and practical in any societal setting. This included the teachings on the need to be loyal to one’s self, family and consequently the state, and the need to be humble by speaking carefully.

Importance of studying this book

In conclusion, it is important to study “The analects of Confucius” as translated by Legge because it helps us understand the origin of the Confucianism philosophy’s and its implication to the vast Asian society. Further, the book helps us to understand the ideologies of former philosophers, their view of the society back then and their expectations on the same. The book also helps us to understand the importance of humanity as depicted through various generations.

Reference

Legge, J. (2010). The Analects of Confucius. Web.

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