What makes a good ruler, in Confucius’s view? A good minister?
In Confucius's view,the most important characteristic a ruler should have is virtue, to be more specific, humanity and unselfish love for his people, and should always use ritual to make his virtue a paragon and make his people follow his virtue. In analects 2:3, he said ' lead them by political manoeuvre, restrain them with punishment, the people will become cunning and shameless.' He is against using strong law or harsh political manoeuvre to control people's behavior, instead, a good ruler , in his word' lead them by virtue, restrain them with ritual: they will develop a sense of shame and a sense of participation. 'Though virtue is a general idea and is hard to measure, Confucius still believe that for a ruler, virtue is required. In 6:30, Confucius believe the ancient ruler of China, Shun and Yu, are the paragon of rulers in terms of virtue,and he mentions these two emperor in analects several time to show his respect for their decency.Shun and yu is famous for giving power to other people who is capable of ruling their community, not to their son or relatives. Their unselfish act and the love for their people make them the ideal emperor in Confucius’s standard. In analects 2;1, he compares ruler with virtue with the polestar which always remains constant and compares his people to others star revolves around it. It also shows Confucius’s idea that normal people must respect their king and follow his moral conduct. If the king behaves improperly or lose his virtue, his people will have no sense of good or evil, and the society will descend to chaos. Confucius also believe that a good minister must remain loyal to his king and should always follow the ritual, which is mostly done by following king's order .In 3:19, his student asks him 'how should a minister serve his ruler?', his answer is simple and concise,"a minister should treat his lord with loyalty " In 12:7, he says that a minister...
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