Compare and Contrast of Mencius and Confucius

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As we all know that Mencius several times throughout Chinese history has been regarded as a potentially “dangerous” author, leading at times to outright banning of his book. This is because Mencius developed a very early form of what was to be called in modern times the “social contract.” Mencius, like Confucius, believed that rulers were divinely placed in order to guarantee peace and order among the people they rule. Unlike Confucius, Mencius believed that if a ruler failed to bring peace and order about, then the people could be absolved of all loyalty to that ruler and could if they felt strongly enough about the matter, revolt. I surmise if we go into details, it will probably take us months or maybe even years before finishing this comparison. I personally felt that Mencius and Confucius did not share nearly the same feelings for what was the most important unit in a society. I believe Confucius set up the belief of “Emperor, Master, and Father.” Basically, all subjects were obliged to the orders of the Emperor. All students were required to follow the footsteps of their Masters. In the same way that all children should obey their fathers commands. If at any given time these orders came in conflicts with one another, then everyone must choose to put the Emperor’s demands above everything else. Perhaps, this concept was one of the main reasons why Confucianism was promoted as the state’s ideology during the reign of Han Wudi. On the other hand, Mencius had a totally different view. Mencius insisted that “People came first Empires/Nations were only second, while the Emperor was the least important.” Well I am sure that not too many people would be happy to hear this argument let alone agree. This concept will definitely tolerate rebellions against a tyrannical ruler. The Emperor was working in the best interests of the people. Without the people’s support, the emperor had certainly failed his duties as the leader. While Confucius’s theory...
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