Daoism and Confucianism Compared
Their “founders” and any writings which they left behind for posterity.
Lao-Tzu is the believed to be the founder of Taoism (Daoism) and his name can be translated as “Old Master” or “Old Boy”; however, very little is known about his actual life and some people have questioned whether he actually existed at all (Ancient Civilizations, N.d.). It is believed that he was born as a white haired old man that was saddened by society’s lack of goodness.
Confucius was born in 551 B.C.E and was a politician, musician, and a philosopher. He was a political advisor to the rulers of the Chou dynasty and later a teacher to a small group of students who recorded his teachings.
â€¢ The overall goals of each religion (what do they teach that people should accomplish in life?)
Learning to be human is considered the overall goal of Confucianism and each person should act with virtue in all social matters which includes the level of the family, community, state, and kingdom (Ancient Civilizations, N.d.).
The overall goal of Daoism is to become one with the Tao or “the way.” This concept can be roughly described as the unknowable and mysterious force that and everything that flows within it; it can be considered the ultimate “reality” (Ancient Civilizations, N.d.).
â€¢ The proper human action (what should people try to do to live successfully?)
The proper human action in reference to Daoism is to become one with nature and to gain balance in life; if balance is achieved then the soul can become one with the Tao (Diffen, N.d.).
Confucianism focus more on human conduct than it does a belief in God, and as such the practice is thought of as both a philosophy as well as a relig. ion (depending on the perspective); Confucianism practices state that humans should respect those that are superior to them in society based on the relevant criteria (Diffen, N.d.).
â€¢ The role of the individual and society (what is the best way for people to live with other people and society’s rules?)
Confucianism is a philosophy that taught the importance of family, respect for one’s elders, and reverence for the past and one’s ancestors and Confucius believed that social and political unrest could be addressed by an ethical system (Burner, 2010).
Daoism preaches that simple and uncomplicated lives are necessary to live in harmony with nature. That the way to achieve peace is through being one with nature and living a simple and natural life. Today in China, many followers of the Dao still try to live simple and as natural a life as possible (Burner, 2010).
Ancient Civilizations. (N.d.). Taoism and Confucianism — Ancient Philosophies. Retrieved from Ancient Civilizations: http://www.ushistory.org/civ/9e.asp
Burner, B. (2010, October 5). Cofucianism and Daoism. Retrieved from Burner’s: http://jsburner.edublogs.org/2010/10/05/journal-11-confucianism-and-daoism/
Diffen. (N.d.). Confucianism vs. Taoism. Retrieved from Diffen: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Confucianism_vs_Taoism
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