The first writer, T'an Ssu-t'ung, criticized the Confucian virtues of human relationships. According to T'an, these relationships, especially that of ruler-minister, have been dark and inhuman. The ruler has no physical or intellectual superiority to any other man that should allow him the right to have control over a mass of people. T'an argues that humans are all equal, so there should be no submission amongst other humans. The Confucian relationship between friends should be the model for all human relationships. This is based on equality, liberty, and mutual feelings and does not sacrifice one's right to be one's own master.
The next writer, Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, believed that a drastic transformation of the whole Chinese way of life was in order for it to progress. He felt that this reform started particularly with its morals, which are considered the essence of Confucianism. He states that morality is based solely on the interest of a group. Morals should be developed based on current conflicts that will best benefit the group. He does not agree with the Confucian idea of a set of morals that are handed down from generation to generation. Progression can only come about with change and reform.
Finally, Ch'en Tu-hsiu, also criticizes the Confucian human relationships. His writing is loaded with examples that make Confucius ideas seem completely illogical in the modern world. Most of his ideas were based in a feudal age. Ch'en points out that these do not apply to China's standing in society at the time and needed to be changed in order to progress with the current society. This writing seemed to have the biggest impact... [continues]
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