The Wisdom of Confucius
Confucius, the great philosopher of China, developed a moral system to guide people in the good way of life. His teachings advocated behavior that showed obedience and respect for superiors such as family members, ancestors, or leaders. Confucius believed that humans are inherently social beings. Adherence to conventions or rituals would ensure harmony. Correct behavior within the framework of a set of relationships was necessary to advance harmonious interactions. The subordinate person was always to learn from the superior person in the relationship. At the same time, the superior person had a responsibility to those below him.
1. List the five key relationships that Confucius emphasized. (in notes)
2. Why did Confucius feel that these relationships were necessary?
3. Would Confucius agree or disagree with the following? Explain. a. Patriarchy
d. Nepotism (giving jobs to family members regardless of merit)
e. Respect for family
Selections from Confucian Analects
Directions: In your own words, explain the meaning of each quote. List any Confucius values that connect to each saying.
The Master said…
1. In strolling in the company of just two other persons, I am bound to find a teacher. Identifying their strengths, I follow them, and identifying their weaknesses, I reform myself accordingly.
2. Exemplary persons understand what is appropriate; petty persons understand what is of personal advantage.
3. Exemplary persons make demands on themselves, while petty persons make demands on others.
4. Among those who are filial toward their parents and fraternal toward their brothers, those who are inclined to offend against their...
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