Confucianism Vs Daoism Essay

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During the Warring States period China was going through chaos. The teachings of Confucianism and Daoism were welcomed by society to bring order, stability and liberate people from the misery and oppression. The rulers were greedy and desirous of political power and their own agendas; however they were looking for a new way to unite their people. It is often said that Confucianism and Daoism are the yang and yin, respectively, of Chinese religion. That is, they are not rivals so much as complementary traditions, working together to produce an overall balance in the lives of the Chinese. This is not true because the two religious philosophies were different from one another. Confucius believed that the traditions and virtues that were studied and taught in the old days by the Ancients was the best way to organize society (trickle-down approach). Also followers of Confucius believed in education, a moral force and human goodness to advance and progress within society. Daoism on the other hand relies on human nature and a balance of good and evil (Yin-Yang) to bring about social order. It neglects education, virtue and cultural norms because it is said that people are born faultless.
Confucianism became popular during the Han Dynasty as it was the state religion and had a great impact on East Asia (Confucianism 1, pg. 7). Born in 551 BCE in the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, Confucius himself absorbed the teachings of Mahavira and the Buddha (Confucianism 1, pg. 2) He had a set of virtues that he believed a functioning society should stand by such as benevolence, love and rites. Confucius wanted China to return to the old days when people were loyal to their rulers and rulers were polite and caring towards their people. He believed rulers s...

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...eed to educate ourselves through ancient virtues and treat others the way we want to be treated. Laozi on the other hand did not disagree with this view however he thought that it was not the most important thing to focus on. It is best if we allow nature to decide the direction we want to take in life and our destiny. Overall the Daoists believed that Confucius and his philosophy was a danger to society even though he truly believed in everything he was teaching.
In conclusion the teachings of Confucianism and Daoism judging from a pragmatic standpoint cannot coexist with one another. Although their main objective is similar which is to provide a valuable philosophy for the rulers to adopt, the philosophies themselves differ in many ways. If the Kings or rulers decided to embrace the Confucius philosophy then they would go against the Yin-Yang and flow of nature.

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