A Critique of Confucian Morality

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A Critique of Confucian Morality For many centuries, Confucianism has been widely revered by the Chinese for its emphasis on morality. Confucius, who lived from 551 to 479 BCE, is different to most philosophers in that he showed no interest questioning his existence, the possibility of a God, or the reality that he seemed to live in; instead he focused on the human relations side of philosophy as it was his belief that people should “give (themselves) earnestly to the duties due to men … (and) keep aloof from (spiritual beings)” (Confucius 195). By negating the metaphysical side of philosophy, he was able to devote himself to mold his disciples into ideal gentleman who were morally righteous, and were able to benefit society. He believed in the importance of individuals who knew their roles in an well-structured society, that was a feudal system. In his opinion, the ideal gentleman should be obedient to his elders, have humanness and be morally righteous. Through his teachings, he was able to reform an entire country; the Chinese found Confucianism to embody practices of humaneness that they could apply in their daily lives through his religion. His profound wisdom of morality and human relationships that he imparted on his disciples has been passed down and this displays how he came to be the most significant Chinese philosopher that there has been. However from a modern and Western point of view, there are some faults to be found with his teachings. Confucius thought that tradition and ritual were necessary practices that had to be passed down. His conservative views do not resonate as well in the West as it does in China because of the importance that is placed on the liberal individual as opposed to someone who... ... middle of paper ... ...uld like. His teachings where one must obey one’s parents without question, his backward views on the female, and utopian beliefs about hierarchal society greatly contrast modern Western thought as significance is paced on a societal level, rather than the individual. Confucius, as a philosopher, unlike many of his Western counterparts, has Fermata hold until notes dies away not been able to develop and further a nation’s innovation. His method of imparting knowledge from a superior-inferior based relationship, rather than a discussion-based approach has stifled creativity because of his conservative ways. Works Cited Confucius. The Four Books. Mandarin and English. Ed. And Trans. By James Legge. Beijing: Culture Book Co. 1992. Print. Jones, David, ed. Confucius Now: Contemporary Encounters with the Analects. Chicago: Open Court, 2008. 49. Print.
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