Values and Morals of Confucianism Impact Many Cultures

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Confucianism is a religion derived from Daoism by the great Chinese sage Confucius (551–478 B.C.E.). It began as philosophical and ethical thought and was conceived in a society undergoing social turmoil. Confucianism is a newer religion that came to be around the same time as Buddhism. Its values and morals have had an enormous impact on the culture of many countries in Eastern Asia. All of Confucius’ teachings are recorded in the Analects, one of the four main texts of Confucianism. China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are only a handful of the countries that have been influenced by Confucianism. Personally, I come from a culture who does not practice Confucianism. However, its concepts, such as being respectful to your elders and mentoring your younger siblings were prevalent in my childhood. Studying this religion more in depth gives me a better understanding of the philosophy that my family embraces. Of the eight elements discussed in Molloy, the two that interest me the most in this context are ethics and the belief system.

Confucius was born into a time when the feudal system of China had collapsed. He was raised a scholar by his mother and worked in the Chinese government. After his mother passed away, he become a teacher. Confucius was a witness to the chaos of his time and resolved to aid those who were suffering from the social disorder. Confucius believed that the production of strongly educated individuals could become great leaders and that they in turn would create a harmonious society. In order to achieve this, the cultivation of one’s intellect and virtues were necessary. This could be done through education, which included poetry, the arts, and philosophical teachings. Believing that the past con...

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...rnization, its values remain deeply rooted in many cultures today. As we have grown comfortable in today’s society of computers and smartphones, a demand for the education of traditional values has risen once more. Many concepts, such as the Five Great Relationships are more relevant than ever. In particular, the ruler-subject relationship in regards to politics in the modern era is becoming extremely significant. A research question that I would like to explore further as a result of studying Confucianism is: How do the other four great relationships in Confucianism affect society today? In addition, the Five Great Virtues can still be powerful qualities for people to add to their lives today. Confucianism was originally meant to mend the societal ills of China during the Warring States Period but even today, its values are still applicable in any society.
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