Confucianism and Daoism Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Confucianism and Daoism are Chinese religious traditions. While they are considered by some to be very different they are often actually woven together (Mou, 78). The teachings of one are often relatively consistent with the teachings of the other and because of this those who believe in one of these religious traditions do not discount the other one or feel that it is unworthy. Both of them indicate a reverence for Chinese ancestors and a striving for harmony with nature, although they often look at achieving this in slightly different ways (Mou, 85). These concepts of reverence for ancestors and striving for harmony with nature are important parts to both traditions, but they are also elevated to a higher level by the ideals and ethics that they embody (Mou, 96).

Both traditions have a peaceful coexistence, and this is true even within those who follow one tradition or the other. Daoism, which is considered to be based on the teaching of Laozi, is a way in which people can achieve personal enlightenment (Kohn, 92). Confucianism, which is based on the teachings of Kongzi, deals more specifically with education and ethics (Wei-Ming, 93). Daoism has provided an alternative to many of the traditional Confucianism teachings yet they are so similar in scope that there are no difficulties between those who enjoy one tradition or the other (Shun, 28). Both creators of these religious traditions were contemporaries in China in the sixth century B.C (Mou, 144). Kongzi was born in the state of Lu and was a reformer (Wei-Ming, 95). He traveled to China and gave advice to rulers about ethics and morality in the hopes that the most refined elements of the societal and governmental traditions could be brought forth and would prevail (Wei-Ming, 96). Laozi founded Daoism in the hopes that it would help to end the constant state of feudal warfare (Kohn, 93). Many of his writings describe how a ruler should lead his particular life and the ways that can be utilized to find peace (Kohn, 93).

Legend has it that Kongzi visited with Laozi and found his superior intellect to be very impressive (Shun, 58). Laozi disappeared in his old age but he left behind the Book of The Way of Virtue (Kohn, 96). It is believed that both creators of these religious traditions serve and assist the people of China and the planet as Archangels of the Universal Lightrays (Mou, 134). Those who believe in Dao have focused themselves on nature and what type of insights can be taken from it (Kohn, 102). Those who follow Confucianism look at a rational and intellectual approach to issues and believe in strong education (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). It is believed that the reason that these two traditions have been able to coexist together for such a long time is because of the 'I Ching' (Mou, 138). This has to do with the union and the cosmology of these traditions, which is believed to be included in both teachings and has a strong metaphysical aspect (Mou, 139).

In Daoism, individuals are taught to become one with the Dao (Kohn, 98). The Dao is considered to be the force that flows through everything and is therefore the original cause of life (Kohn, 104). In Confucianism, the main goal is an ethical transformation from within the individual (Wei-ming, 114). This must be done at the same time that one is contributing to the future attainment of a harmonious and ideal society (Wei-ming, 114). Daoists believe that most people are good by nature and that being kind to others is important because others will then be kind in return (Kohn, 115). Becoming one with the Dao is the ultimate goal of Daoism (Kohn, 115). Part of the way that this oneness is created is through the use of Tai Chi (Kohn, 116). Many people believe Tai Chi is a type of karate or other martial art, but it is actually an exercise which uses very slow and deliberate movements (Kohn, 116). It is believed that all parts of the body are worked when these exercises are done and that these types of exercises also massage the internal organs (Kohn, 116).

Another belief of Daoism is that the development of virtue and the seeking of compassion, humility, and moderation is something that all people should strive for (Kohn, 117). Actions should be planned in advance and they should be achieved through minimal action (Kohn, 117). In other words, a Daoist does not expect to do a great deal of work to achieve a minor result. Instead, he would determine how best this particular achievement could be created with the minimum of effort. This does not mean that those who practice Daoism are lazy, but only that they think through what they do before they attempt to do it. In order to have long life and virtual immorality, those who practice Daoism look for the great pattern of nature and seek a union with it (Kohn, 117). They believe that they gain a virtuous power from this and will eventually become nameless, formless, and simple (Kohn, 117).

Those who follow Daoism live mostly in Taiwan, but there are about 20 million of these Daoism followers worldwide (Mou, 144). Some are in North America, and often these individuals are found where meditation, martial arts, herbalism, acupuncture, and holistic medicine are to be found (Mou, 144). There are specific tenets of Daoism which can help others to perform well in their lives (Kohn, 118). One of the things Daoism believes is that problems should be solved peacefully, and that violence and conflict are not necessary (Kohn, 118). When individuals truly believe in the Dao and they are in tune with it they will accomplish a great deal while still doing less (Kohn, 118). Virtuous deeds should always be performed without regard to whether a reward will be received (Kohn, 118).

Simplicity is also very important in Daoism and every day should be effortless and uncomplicated (Kohn, 118). In the modern world this is often very difficult, but the idea of working toward this appeals to many, whether they follow Daoist teachings or not (Kohn, 118). Intuition should be utilized in order to look past what can be seen by simply using logic and insights will often come from living in this way rather than from gaining knowledge that comes from books (Kohn, 118). Humility is one of the basic tenets of Daoism as well, as these individuals believe that the more one individual learns the more that he or she will realize that there is so much more left to learn (Kohn, 118). Duality is another issue that Daoism believes in, meaning that everything is defined by the existence of something opposite to it (Kohn, 118). In other words, something is only it wet because of a comparison to something that is dry (Kohn, 118). Confucianism, on the other hand, is a way of life that looks mainly at standards and ethical relationships (Wei-ming, 99). These issues are both for the administration of the state and for the family life (Wei-ming, 99).

According to Confucianism, change is important but only if the motive of change is correct (Wei-ming, 112). The motive of change must be good for the whole as well as for the self or it is not the proper motive (Wei-ming, 112). The teachings of Confucianism say that there should be very deep reverence for the powers not only of Heaven but of Earth as well because these powers not only regulate nature but affect the course of many human events (Wei-ming, 112). There are only around 6 million followers of Confucianism in the world (Wei-ming, 112). About 26,000 of them are in North America and most live in Asia and China (Wei-ming, 112). There are several ethical teachings that are included in Confucianism and individuals who follow this path are encouraged to include the following virtues and values in their daily lives (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). First, they should have loyalty to the state (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). Second, they need etiquette and propriety (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). Third, love within the family is seen as very significant (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). Fourth, these individuals must have humaneness and benevolence toward others (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). Sixth is the concept of righteousness, and seventh is trustworthiness and honesty (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30).

It is also believed in Confucianism that four of the passages of life are regulated by tradition (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). These are birth, the reaching of maturity, marriage, and death (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). Within these concepts, marriage itself has six stages (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). These are proposal, engagement, dowry, procession, marriage, and reception (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). Those who practice Confucianism believe in very strict rules and ethical ideas for many of life's concepts (Wei-ming, Confucius, 30). This is not necessarily a bad thing, given the way that society appears to be falling apart in many different ways. Both of these religions were much more popular when they were…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Confucianism And Daoism" (2004, May 04) Retrieved October 23, 2016, from

"Confucianism And Daoism" 04 May 2004. Web.23 October. 2016. <>

"Confucianism And Daoism", 04 May 2004, Accessed.23 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Daoism vs Confucianism the Author of This

    Daoism vs. Confucianism The author of this report is asked to compare and contrast Daoism (also commonly known as Taoism) with the focus being on the contrast. Indeed, the two belief and philosophy structures are quite different but they also have some strong similarities. Those facets and components that are the same will be enumerated throughout this text. The two writing styles follow common themes but are presented differently. Confucian writing

  • Daoism as a Way of

    14). Certainly, the vast majority of people in the West have come to think about the world around them in terms of the Greek philosophical tradition, combined with some version of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions. For example, Freiberg (1977) reports that "Philosophical systems based on positive and dialectical logic have co-existed throughout Western history, but dialectical philosophies have become increasingly important during the last two centuries" (p. 3). This author

  • Confucianism in East Asian Cultures

    Confucianism in East Asian Cultures Confucianism is often characterized as a system that involves social and ethical philosophy as opposed to being purely a religion in the traditional definition of religion. As a matter of fact Confucianism is based on ancient religious foundations for the establishment of institutions, social values, and transcendent ideas of traditional societies. The paper is a critique of Confucian legacies in East Asian modernities, knowledge as well

  • Confucianism as a Root to

    The enormous expanse of land, resource and population that is and has been China, to varying size parameters, has by virtue of these outsized characteristics, been site to wild fluctuations in the areas of continuity of control. The onset of a historical trend which would become known as the dynastic cycle would be preceded though by a sustained period of Chinese social stability, distinguished in particular by the influence

  • Buddhism and Daoism There Are

    In an English concept of second nature performance of an action, no thought only the action is performed. The similar concept of Wu in Daoism, which is being or the ultimate understanding of what being is, is also represented in Buddhism by Atman, the inner or greater self. Taoist thought in China had been exercised for a long time over the relation of non-being to being, (chen-ju) non-activity to activity.

  • The Philosophy of Neo Confucianism

    Neo-Confucianism is a philosophy which was born from the need to explain the existence of man and the universe in a manner which was just as complex as the Buddhist one. The philosophers which belong to this school of thought took the core of the Confucian philosophy and enriched it with contributions from other philosophies. It can also be stated that neo-Confucianism is a reaction to various provocations of philosophical

  • Asian Studies the Three Most

    Daoism picked up where Confucianism left off in terms of creating an ideal society. For the Confucian, morality and social order are the ultimate aims. For the Taoist, morality and social order are only side-effects of living according to the Tao, or the Way. Morality is not a set of prescribed behaviors but rather, is the natural by-product of living in harmony with the universe. Taoism has none of

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved