Comparing Taoism, Confucianism, And Legalism Essay, Research Paper
When one mentions the name Lowell High School, one woulda think of academic excellence and first-class education. The students all enter Lowell High School by placing tremendous effort into their academic studies. The motive of the students is to attain one certain goal, which is to be accepted to a prestigious college. Each student has a different method however, of reaching that specific destination. Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism also share one common goal, of reaching a state of perfection through hard work and dedication. Their definition of excellence or perfection differs from one another, and all three struggle to reach there own standards of perfection. Therefore, Confucians, Taoists, and Legalists would all agree on how the Lowell students strive to attain their own sense of “perfection”, although their methods of reaching this sense of perfection are different from one another.
To reach “perfection”, Lowell students, Confucians, Legalists, and Taoists must do certain things to attain their definition of excellence. Confucians believed in the perfectibility of man. One would become “perfectible through self-cultivation and the practice of ritual” . Similar to Confucians, Lowell students will be able to enter renowned colleges through self-development. Taoists would become perfectible by being one with nature. To be one with nature, one would reject assertiveness and desires for worldly goods, for this was the root in causing violence and aggression. Like Taoists, Lowell students make sacrifices during their four years at Lowell, in order to achieve their goals. For Legalists, one would be perfect if they were hard working and obedient. One will have to go through a large amount of pain to receive a lot of benefits in the long run. Like Legalists, Lowell students go through a lot of pain in studying and working hard, but in the long run, they will be better off with a successful future ahead of them.
Although all three-belief systems resemble Lowell in some way, one would see that Confucian and Legalist beliefs resemble Lowell the most. For both beliefs, it takes tedious work and studying to reach your destination. “Legalism keeps the people hard working and obedient” . In addition, Confucianism is based on a hierarchy, in regards to the student – teacher relationship.
On the other hand, the belief that contrasts the most from Lowell is Taoism. Lowell’s system is the opposite of Taoism. Lowell is a competitive environment, where every person works hard in hopes of achieving self-satisfaction. Taoism however is about nature, and about caring for others. What motivates Lowell students is the idea of having “worldly position, wealth, power, and honor” . These are the kinds of things that Taoists taboo.
In addition, Lowell is one of the dirtiest schools in San Francisco, despite its academic excellence. Taoists were against harming nature; therefore having a dirty school would be against Taoism.
Overall, all three belief systems differ in various ways, however they all have one goal, which is to reach their own state of “perfection”. To reach this perfection, each belief system takes a different method. In other words, there are many roads, but they all lead to the same destination. This is much like Lowell students, for we are all walking on different roads, but in the end we reach a similar destination.