Comparing Taoism And Confucianism

901 Words4 Pages
Confucianism vs. Taoism: a Comparison of Should and Must Sometimes, people need some wisdom on how to live a good life and to aid them in their decision making. There are many sources for guidance, but few of them persist. Taoism and Confucianism have withstood the test of time. With over two thousand years of active participation, they have found a home in modern society. Confucianism originated at roughly the same time, and it stresses morality, ethics, hierarchy and respect. Taoism originated in China around 500 B.C.E. It, at its core, is about living your life in harmony with the Tao, or way of the universe. Both philosophies emphasize virtuous behavior and sought to create peace and harmony in a chaotic time of Chinese History. Even though…show more content…
In Confucianism, respect is a most important value. Confucian respect comes in many forms. One of the most important forms of respect is Filial Piety, or respect for one’s parents. Parent and Child is even one of the five key relationships. In The Analects, this is shown when The Master writes “Nowadays, people think they are dutiful sons when they feed their parents. Yet they also feed their dogs and horses. Unless there is respect, where is the difference?” (Confucius, 2.7) He tells that respect make the difference between human and animal. The other four of the Five Key Relationship Taoism too has some teachings on respect. While Confucian respect focuses on outer relationships and respect, Taoism is much more individual. “If powerful men and women could center themselves in [the Tao]/ then the whole world would be transformed” (Lao Tzu, 37) Centering oneself in the Tao requires respecting it enough to trust it. It also requires respecting yourself enough to think that you deserve a transformed…show more content…
In Confucianism, leaders are the moral exemplars and role models for their people. The leaders are supposed to lead the people in directions that they would not have taken without guidance. The Master advises “He who rules by virtue is like the polestar, which remains unmoving...while the other stars revolve respectfully around it.” (Confucius, 2.1) He tells that the leader must remain constant and garner respect, and keep all the other ‘stars’ in his orbit. The Confucian leader is one who very actively changes how the people behave. Taoism, on the other hand, preaches close to the opposite. He teaches, “The best leader / follows the will of his people” (Lao Tzu, 68.) Lao Tzu advocates passive leadership. The leader is merely a vessel to help the people follow the Tao themselves. Leadership in Taoism is not so much actually leading, but

    More about Comparing Taoism And Confucianism

      Open Document