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Confucianism VS. Taoism (Daoism) VS. Legalism

A view of the differences and similarities of the three philosophies in ancient and modern China.
by

Matthew Hoffman

on 7 February 2012

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Transcript of Confucianism VS. Taoism (Daoism) VS. Legalism

Philosophers
In China Confucius' Life Confucius was an extraordinary child who was extremely polite and loved to learn new things. So he was sent to the city of Zhou to gain more knowledge. At the age of 35 he returned to his home in Lu to become a government official but the duke of Lu denied him. After he denied him the duke still provided him with land of his own. When the duke did a bad job taking care of Lu Confucius left and became a teacher and a very respected thinker (philosopher). The Three Philosophies That Changed the Way
We Think Confucius' Beliefs Daoism, more commonly known as Taoism, was taught by Lao Tzu. The reason it is more commonly known as Taoism is because Tao means "the way" or "the path". Lao Tzu's Beliefs Legalism Laws and Beliefs Harsh Punishment Main Thoughts- Confucius believed that everyone should live in peace with one another with an orderly government that is very skilled at taking care of citizens. Along with this he thought that virtues were very, very important to have in a government or society.
Duties- Confucius also thought in order to live by his rule and to live orderly, that everyone had a duty or responsibility to one another.
Children- Owed parents honor
Parents- Owed children love
Husbands- Owed wives support
Wives- Owed husbands obedience These three philosophies affected modern day and historic China in many ways on a massive level; because they all contributed something to China's history and what they believe today. Some people even have Daoism or Confucianism as their religion. Back in ancient days the peolpe of China relied on the thoughts and teachings of these people to figure how they should live or what they should believe, but not only did this affect China it also affected; the whole world! These three thinkers built most of
our laws and religions or even political views. Some people
might have never even heard of Confucius, Lao Tzu, or Han Feizi and they still might act accordingly to their life, laws, or beliefs. Lao Tzu was not known to be real, but it is believed that he thought that everyone should take "the easiest route" and if times get tough that we should go out to find knowledge in nature to get through challenges and that laws that controlled how we act are not a good thing to have in a government. This belief is called Wu Wei which means "to do by not doing". With this belief in nature he came across with the idea of Ying Yang, a highly recognised symbol around the world. Lao Tzu believed that everything in the universe was split into two groups that lived together in harmony. The Ying (black) is the way of women, moons, death, and things still like ponds. The Yang (white) is the way of men, the sun, dragons, birth, and things fast like rivers. Within this thought he also believed we all had a bit of both inside of us so fighting was going against ourselves. Which Philosophy would you believe in, Why?
Which ones do you not beileve in, Why?
What sort of people would believe in each, what sort would not?
Questions to Ask Yourself Laws and Beliefs- Han Feizi thought that through harsh punishment and strict laws were the only way to live orderly. These seem good but the peasants and farmers lost land while aristocrats gained. One of Han Feizi’s thoughts was that three rules guided all ruling.
Fa- The laws are made public and clearly written.
Shu- Special details of the law are kept hidden to protect the ruler in fights in court.
Shi- It is the position of power that that holds the power, not the ruler himself.
These "helping rules" and Han Feizi’s philosophy were very popular in ancient and some of his harsh punishments are still practiced in some parts of China today.
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