Confucianism Essay, Research Paper
HUNDRED SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
As a ruler I would be most inclined to follow Confucianism because it is not so much a religion in a traditional sense, but a set of rules for human interaction. It is a system of social ethics concerned with the formal, external aspects of life. Conf
ianism is humanism, a philosophy or attitude that is concerned with human beings, their achievements and interests, rather than with the abstract beings and problems of theology. In Confucianism man is the center of the universe: man cannot live alone,
ut with other human beings. For human beings, the ultimate goal is individual happiness. The necessary condition to achieve happiness is through peace. To obtain peace, Confucius discovered human relations consisting of the five relationships which a
based on love and duties. War has to be abolished: and the Great Unity of the world should be developed.
Confucius did not intend to found a new religion, but to interpret and revive the unnamed religion of the Zhou dynasty, under which many people thought the ancient system of religious rule was bankrupt; why couldn?t the gods prevent the social up heavel
The burning issue of the day was: If it is not the ancestral and nature spirits, what then is the basis of a stable, unified and enduring social order? The dominant view of the day was that strict law and statecraft were the bases of sound policy. C
fucius, however believed that the basis lay in the Zhou religion, in its rituals. He interpreted these not as sacrifices asking for the blessings of the gods, but as ceremonies performed by human agents and embodying the civilized and cultured patterns
f behavior developed through generations of human wisdom. They embodied , for him, the ethical core of Chinese society. Moreover, Confucius applied the term ?ritual? to actions beyond the formal sacrifices and religious ceremonies to include social ri
als. He saw these time-honored and traditional rituals as the basis of human civilization, and he felt that only a civilized society could have a stable, unified and enduring social order.
There was another side of Confucianism. Confucius not only stressed social rituals but also humanness (ren). Ren, sometimes translated to love or kindness, it is not any one virtue, but its the source of all virtues. A ritual performed with ren has n
only form, but ethical content; it nurtures the inner character of the person, furthers his or her maturation. If the ?outer? side of Confucianism was conformity and acceptance of social roles, the ?inner? side was cultivation of conscience and charac
r. Cultivation involved broad education and reflection on one?s actions.
As a ruler I would find Confucianism to be very attractive because it provides a philosophical framework for an orderly society. Confucianism is human centered and concerned with relations among people. The authority of the ruler is not derived from r
igion therefor religion does not compete with the state as a source of authority. Because Confucianism emphasized conformity with social roles, it would reinforce the social hierarchy which would place me as the ruler at the top. So Confucianism not o
y provided a rational for the rulers authority it also enforced it. Confucianism would also be attractive to a ruler because it could co-exist with already existing religions. It would not be necessary to repress existing religions, which would create
nstability during already unstable times. Instead the adoption of Confucianism would require the education of individuals to an out look on life and patterns of behavior which would lead to an orderly society, and reinforce the authority of the ruler.
In choosing a school of though for my dynasty to follow, I would want a philosophy that would enable me to still have control over the people, yet the people can still live in the harmony that they seek, because Confucianism instills in individuals a se
e of self-worth that is derived from conformity to the social order, it achieves both goals.