Confucianist and Daoist Government Foundations

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Scriptures from both the Confucianist and Daoist perspectives on ideal governments and individual life styles mainly depict the two religions in a contrasting manner, but they also reveal some similarities in their purposes. While both religions ultimately seek attainment of a flawless society through the betterment of their people, they accomplish this through much different means: a strict government based on filial piety within Confucianism and a more lax system centered around unity and morality within Daoism. Comparing the scriptures of both faiths allows an almost exact means of understanding their values and religious basis for the creation of their social systems, such as government types and societal norms. Founded around the concepts of "knowledge and virtue", or ren, Confucianism sets out to create a government through the cultivation of superior men (Van Voorst, 143). According to the Analects, or the scripture within the main Confucian book, benevolence is the most principal of the religion's virtues, including empathy, humanity, love and thoughtfulness (ibid, 137, 144). The faith states that men who wish to consider themselves of superior nature should not only carry out these attributes through right actions, but also be properly motivated with the correct mindset while executing them (ibid, 144, 145). While the Confucianist faith considers "filiality and fraternal submission" as "the root of all benevolent actions", and therefore the basis of becoming virtuous, the religion places great emphasis on their attainment and practice in order to become a Jun-zi, or superior man (ibid, 143). Knowing one's place within the five relationships and actively participating in them, or understanding the rectification of names is the religion's central means in obtaining order (ibid, 145). Including the ruler-subject, friend-friend, husband-wife, elder brother-younger brother, and most importantly, the...
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