Comparing Confucianism and Daoism

Topics: Taoism, Chinese philosophy, Confucianism Pages: 3 (1092 words) Published: March 23, 2012
Philosophical Daoism and early Confucianism have very different views on the way we should live life. If I was to choose a path in life to follow it would be the Confucianist path. Confucianism is a lot more controlled then Daoism. Daoism focuses on wu-wei, which translated is non-action. Non-action means that the Daoists believe the best way to live life is to just go with the flow, and not interrupt the natural course of life. Looking at such perspectives on life only brings chaos to my mind, as a society with a “go with the flow” attitude could cause a lot of problems. Without rules, regulations, or rituals to follow I feel that people would take advantage of this and simply do whatever it is they wish to do. The Daoist text, Tao Te Ching, does not have specific rules to abide by. It preaches messages via stories on how to live, which are then interpreted into guidelines that the Daoists follow. On the contrary, in Confucianism we are exposed to a way to live in order to achieve the good that is within all of us. Confucius believed that society was naturally good, but he felt that the society was getting corrupted with bad morals that focused on money, profit, and power (Lecture notes November 1,2011). In order to achieve the human goodness that we all have within us, and that we had in the past, he offered his followers two different choices to follow. The first choice involved education, which was accomplished through the five classics; the second method was through simple observation, letting life educate you (Lecture notes, November 3,2011) . These strategies represent moral force rather than physical force, and they cultivate human goodness. Along with these two ideas on how to cultivate human goodness, Confucius strictly believed that ritual, Li, would be the key to achieving good manners. “The Master said, So long as the ruler loves ritual, the people will be easy to handle. (14.44)” (Course Reader 3, p.335) Confucius regulated his people through the...

Bibliography: Geen, Jonathan. 2011-2012 World Religions Course Reader 3
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