Confucianism And Taoism Have Both Elements Of Philosophy And Religion Essay

Confucianism And Taoism Have Both Elements Of Philosophy And Religion Essay

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Confucianism and Taoism have both elements of philosophy and religion. In some ways they seem to be polar opposites yet in many other ways they follow the same path. On the surface they represent differing methods of thinking about the world around us and impose distinct behavioral codes of conduct. Especially in the East, however, many people incorporate elements of both religions in their daily lives believing the two perform together in harmony. Confucianism and Taoism both began in the sixth century based on the teachings of a master, Confucius, whose Chinese name K’ung Fu-tzu (Kung the master) was Latinized to Confucius and Li-poh-yang, whose was later called Lao-tzu (Old Master or Old Boy), the master of Taoism.
Confucianism has a focus on the social, earthly orientation of daily life. According to Confucius, humans beings are primarily social and possess a natural capability for goodness, this capability, if followed, leads to social harmony. A “Superior Man”, according to Confucius, is one who has trained himself to do what society expects of him. Confucianism looks outward to improve the individual. The dialogic tradition of this religion means that it was passed down as a dialog between the master and his disciples. Most of the Confucian texts are recorded conversations of question and answer sessions between a master and his disciples, each imparting a novel lesson. The practice of Confucianism is an adherence to an orderly set of codes of behavior and respect for elders. There are five basic relationships in life according to Confucius and if we live according to the principle of li, “the course of life as intended to go”, everything and everyone is in its proper place. The five basic relationships are:...


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...ding as water, Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it.” The visual in my mind is the Grand Canyon; the hard rock has been cut for years by the water going through it. This phrase also explains to me is how a parent teaches a young child. A good parent will allow the child to test the waters, with gentle guidance as the child learns to walk. If the parent never lets a child fall down, he will never learn to balance, but by providing the guidance to get back up again, a child can learn to look for support but not need to be supported one hundred percent.
I also find it fascinating that Confucianism and Taoism have similar goals that allow them to co-exist for thousands of years in many cultures yet they still have strong contrasts. How can a person believe in and practice multiple religions? Is this the yin and the yang they describe?

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