The Confucian Ideal Person

Topics: Confucianism, Chinese philosophy, Taoism Pages: 3 (948 words) Published: May 25, 2014
The Confucian Ideal Person
Religions around the world have what they believe followers should become. In Christianity, people strive to become more like Jesus. Buddhists try to be more like the Buddha. The qualities Jesus and the Buddha possess are what followers strive to be like. These followers want to become the ideal person. Confucian followers are no different. Confucian followers have characteristics they strive to achieve to become the ideal person. To achieve these characteristics, the follower must understand Confucian concepts, social structure, and reflection. Confucian Concepts

In Confucian society, the ideal person must have qualities that fit the concepts Confucius believed were important. There are five concepts that Confucianism promotes as part of the ideal person. The first concept or virtue is the ren. The virtue of the ren is to think of others instead of oneself (Molloy, 2010). If a person is to possess the quality of ren, the person must be able to think of others first and the needs of people over their own needs. Another way to think of this is to be respectful and polite to others and kindness will follow. The second virtue is li. Li is an extension of ren. Remember that ren is to think of others before oneself. Li is the concept of doing the right thing. The right thing can mean many things, but in Confucian society, it means doing the right thing based on the situation (Molloy, 2010). For example, someone should not yell in a library if the person wants to talk to someone else. They should walk over quietly and use a quiet voice to have a conversation so as to not disturb other people. This is an example of possessing li, the virtue of doing the right thing that is proper to the situation (Molloy, 2010).

The third quality a Confucian ideal person must possess is shu. Shu is how the actions of a person affect other people (Molloy, 2010). An example for the virtue of shu is the consequences of an action. A person may decide to kill...

References: Molloy, M. (2010). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
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