University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Proper Way to Live by Confucianism and Taoism
Confucianism and Taoism are ideologies that originated from China. These two ideologies have become popular even though different in their various approaches. The analysis of this paper will include introduction of the main ideologies of Confucianism and Taoism, and it is also providing a comparison between the two ideologies.
It is a word used for the ideologies of Confucius, a scholar that existed at the time of warring states. The keyword of Confucianism generally is the concept of humanism (Ritzer 37). Among the five virtues of Confucianism are Humanism, Righteousness, Principle, Knowledge, and Integrity.
He was a scholar who like the others lived in the period of the warring states, and had a different approach in his ideologies. Tao is the main concept of Taoism, meaning “way.” It is described as a spontaneous, natural, external way of things, as well as the way they pursue their course (Ritzer38). The argument of many philosophies is that in case people are going to let everything in life to flow in their own way, then everything would definitely work out, like in the starts of his argument in this case it affirms the word “refrain.”
While Confucianism has emphasized more on humans and their capabilities, Taoism has emphasized nature and equality. According to Confucius when an individual has faults, he should not have fear in abandoning them. Confucianism recognizes the need to be strong by shunning away any set back from other people who do not recognize the ability that you possess as portrayed by the statement “Do not grieve when people fail to recognize your ability, Grieve for your lack of ability” (Ritzer 38). The philosophy talked about not listening or be bothered with what other people think about your ability but always rise-up to the occasion and not grieve. These concepts are what Confucius was using in bringing order and peace to society and he was considered successful in doing so. Based on the facts that his argument on life emphasizes more on the importance of human relations, it is still influential.
Confucius has emphasized humbleness, the philosophy describes what a noble mind aspires to “slow to speak and quick to act,” in the same way the ancient people spoke little. This is similar to Lao Tzu view about life describing life to be with little quarrels in order to avoid quarrelling with other people. Moreover, Confucius view about life is all about loyalty, ready to change whenever wrong, always standing by your words, as well as choosing only the kindred as your friends.
Taoism has emphasized humbleness and gratefulness throughout life, “…have little and gain; Have much and be confused.” Taoism also has considered humbleness in life in another perspective affirming need for a person to stand by his own words as a way of being humble. The philosopher describes wise men as setting example to all and in order for that to happen a wise man must always stand by his own word, a character that can be desired and be emulated.
Taoism view about life has been considered as perhaps too mystical. It can be criticized to be just an ideology that is trying to escape reality. Moreover, as much as Taoism could give a skeptical view, it failed to provide a realistic solution about life.
However, Confucius as a philosophy is more welcomed because it has a deeper sense of life with realistic solution, especially regarding the opinion that other people have about some other people. According to Confucius, people should not just be comfortable with the way they have been described and given title, whether positive or negative. When they talk good about other people, do not just take the complement and remain comfortable, investigate and find out the reason behind being good to them. This is always more serious when they hate you. Since there are many reasons behind somebody holding an opinion about another person, it is indeed important to investigate more why other people have decided to have that opinion, this is because there may be genuine reason behind doing so or may just be a misunderstanding of what was wrongly perceived.
According to Confucius just like Taoism in some aspects every individual is required to act with virtue in every social matters, family, community, state, and kingdom, mainly to ensure order and unity. Though these two philosophies may have taken different philosophies, they have in one way or the other succeeded in shaping of the society in terms of their way of life and their approach to life. Realistic or not realistic their ideologies stand to stay and the perceiving mind is what should embrace and accept the reality.
Following the rise of individualism and freedom, the modern society always forgets their manners and patience. Most of the people tend to be selfish, rude, and having over high esteem about themselves. Just as emphasized by Confucius in his time, people should learn to be calm and respectful in life. Also Taoism has pointed out the need to learn being free, empty our minds, as well as clear our souls. This is because nobody in this world that do not need peace of minds.
Ritzer, George.Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics. McGraw-Hill, 2009. 37–38. Print.