Relevance of Confucianism in the Modern World

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The history of philosophy is full with great minds that have had such great impact on humanity. Even in the present day, philosophers' names, views on life, and the world are still remembered and passed down generation to generation. One philosopher is the man born in 551 BC in the ancient state of Lu in China. He is known in the east as K'ung Tzu or Kung Fu Tzu but in the west he is known as Confucius. Born during the depressing age known as the Warring States Period, Confucius grew up in a society marked with chaos and disorder. Immorality became the rule and the old traditional values were ignored. The once powerful Chou dynasty, a great accomplishment of the ancient Chinese civilization, was coming to an end. Confucius spent most of his life travelling from one state to another, hoping to attain his values of political and social reform. He thought that his duty to the Chinese society was to bring back an era when government leaders were righteous, virtues were upheld and morals were, rightfully observed. It is difficult to classify Confucianism as either religion or philosophy. Confucianism stressed the ways in which people can live together pleasantly and develop an orderly society. The "higher good" doesn't come from the privileges of birth but of the practice of sensible, positive and kind behavior, and of service to others. The philosophy of Confucius recognized and valued the wisdom of the past and gave emphasis on a person's values, society, and life. Confucius taught the human Way as opposed to the mystical Way of Lao-tzu. He proclaimed that one must follow the four principal virtues of Love, Righteousness, Propriety, and Wisdom. Confucius also taught what is probably the earliest form of the Golden Rule: "Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you." For Confucius, this was relevant especially to what he called the Five Relationships: between ruler and subject, husband and wife, father and son, elder and younger brothers, and older...
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