Essay on Confucius Vs. Modern Confucian Values

Essay on Confucius Vs. Modern Confucian Values

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Written during the Period of Warring States, The Analects consists of what Confucius and his disciples believed to be the key values required for a harmonious society. Through various exchanges between an entity only recognized as “The Master” and people of other backgrounds such as Dukes and students, the disciples define the fundamental Confucian values that everyone in society must conform to such as ren (kindness), yi (altruism), li (everyday norms), and zhi (morality). The discourses evince a very conservative stance when it comes to citizens conforming to these values in that “The Master”, or Confucius, is unrelenting in his criticism of the “small man” or anyone led astray from the traditional Confucian values. Centrally, Confucius argues that the essence of the ideal society is a combination of filial piety and benevolence through observing the rights as well as leadership by the superior men, or junzi. Through The Analects, Confucius models his argument in a manner that he encapsulates the aspects of filial piety, benevolence, and gentleman values into one single continuum to illustrate how they are all interconnected.
The Analects begins by elaborating primarily on the citizen’s duty to the family. Not only is he resolute in its importance, but he also extends his claim to mention that it is the chief facet of character as he notes that “Being good as a son and obedient as a young man is, perhaps the root of a man’s character” (Confucius, 59). Moreover, when Meng Yi Tzu asks about being filial, the Master answers, “Never fail to comply” (Confucius, 63). Confucius makes it very clear that the basis of an ideal man’s character is the fulfillment of his duty to his family as he doesn’t weigh any other particular feature hig...

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... of the populace based on Confucian thought. The values of the model gentlemen summarize the argument presented through The Analects in that he flawlessly represents all the values and is able to inspire others to do so.
Branching off of the idea of filial piety and its mass scale implications, Confucius reasons that if filial piety is applied on all levels of society, there would be harmony in the community. According to Confucian thought, the caveat to successful government is not ruling through force, but by genuinely winning the trust of the people and this can only be done through the presence of the junzi in both the government and the public. Through The Analects, Confucius connects the values of the gentleman, the individual obligation to familial duties, and the reciprocation of filial piety in both family and government all in one goal of a peaceful society.

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