Comparing Confucianism and Daoism

Topics: Taoism, Confucius, Chinese philosophy Pages: 2 (727 words) Published: November 13, 2011
Confucianism and Daoism

Even though he died in 479 B.C, Confucianism became one of the most influential thought systems of Chinese history through a small handful of devoted followers because they continued his legacy. These followers had to derive their own interpretations of his system that formulated what is now known as the Analects. Both Confucianism and Daoism disfavored harsh government.

Both also accepted the presence of a supernatural entity without providing a clear explanation on it.

Confucianism and Daoism (Taoism) both focus on the goal of self improvement. Taoism was more focused on improving the individual's relationship with himself, creaing an inner harmony. On the other hand, Confucianism focused on the “social, earthly orientation” of everyday life. In the East, many people unite elements of each of these philosophies in their daily lives. They have a strong belief that together, the two philosophies can work together in harmony. Involved in Confucianism is also a superior man. This man is one who has trained himself to follow the societal expectations imposed upon him. The two philosophies/religions originated in the 5th/6th centuries in China. Taoism though, shows roots in some of China's oldest belief systems where shamanism and pantheism were prevailing.

While they both have elements of philosophy and religion, Confucianism and Taoism at first seem to be polar opposites of each other. They appear to represent different methods of thinking about the world around us and to impose separate codes of behavior. However, many people (especially in the East) incorporate elements of both philosophies in their daily lives and believe strongly that the two can and do work together in harmony. One of the greatest areas where Confucianism and Taoism differ is in their primary focus. Confucianism focuses on the social, earthly orientation of everyday life. According to Confucius, humans are primarily social beings with a natural...
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