Comparing Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism

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Comparing Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism Works Cited Not Included The belief in some higher presence, other than our own, has existed since man can recollect. Religion was established from this belief, and it can survive and flourish because of this belief. In Chinese history, Taoism and Buddhism are two great philosophical and religious traditions along with Confucianism. Taoism, originated in China around the sixth century BCE and Buddhism, came to China from India around the second century of the Common Era, Together have shaped Chinese life and thought for nearly twenty-five hundred years. One dominant concept in Taoism and Buddhism is the belief in some form of reincarnation. The idea that life does not end when one dies is an integral part of these religions and the culture of the Chinese people. Reincarnation, life after death, beliefs are not standardized. Each religion has a different way of applying this concept to its belief. The goal in Taoism is to achieve Tao, to find the way. Tao is the ultimate reality, a presence that existed before the universe was formed and which continues to guide the world and everything in it. Tao is sometimes identified as the Mother, or the source of all things. That source is not a god or a supreme being, as Taoism is not monotheistic. The focus is not to worship one god, but instead on coming into harmony with Tao (Watts, 1957). According to those who believe in the Tao is the essence of everything that is right, and complications exist only because people choose to complicate their own lives. Desire, ambition, fame, and selfishness are seen as hindrances to a harmonious life. It is only when a person rids himself of all desires can Tao be achieved. By shunning every ear... ... middle of paper ... ...wing the correct path guided by the inner light, one can achieve the ultimate goal of Tao or Nirvana. They teach us to trust ourselves, to find our own inner guidance, and to know there is much more to the universe than just our own little observable reality. Above all, they teach us to think for ourselves, and find out what works for us, because no one is the same. This is probably why Buddhism, especially, is often considered a philosophy rather than a religion preset. This is a rarity in most Western religions, where blind faith and obedience is of utmost importance for personal salvation. There are so many religions, and a lot of them are the basis of people?s culture and belief. Through learning about diversity we can become more tolerant and open-minded. There is something to be learned from all belief systems if we are not afraid to explore differences.
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