Confucianism: Morality and Confucius Essay

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After studying the Confucius theory of human nature, my outlook and view on many things have either been changed or at least question. I am left to wonder how being born into this belief system may impact an individual views of themselves, and the world around them. Overall Confucianism is a very practical belief system. Confucius seemed very optimistic about humans, in that the species could be improved if they trusted his knowledge. He offered explanations for the problems in the world, all of the unjust burdens and the suffering.

Confucius answered these questions by diagnosing five flaws he observed in human beings, followed by guidelines , on how to overcome these imperfections; Every human fault ultimately comes down to the fact that each human is out of the Decree of Heaven. In turn, diagnoses for these faults, mainly are to be more in line with the Decree of Heaven. This concept, the Decree of Heaven, is essentially the moral compass in which each human should follow. Let us explore the five diagnoses followed by their prescriptions.

Firstly, Confucius explains humans are flawed in that they are selfish. Every individual is continually looking to benefit themselves. Our actions most often are driven by greed, and we are transfixed on personal growth a lot of times without considering others around us. This selfishness is what causes much of the social disharmony in societies. In order to cease this instinct, Confucius requests his listeners to obey the: “Do something for nothing” principle. In other words, we must make our choices based on what is morally right, and not for any other reason.

At the same time Confucius teaches, not to do what is right if you’re only looking to be rewarded and recognized, for that would, again, be just for one’s own self-interest. Once all selfish intents are let go, doing for nothing will be a gift in its own. The selfishness pronounced in people is what Confucius based his next diagnoses on. If we are selfish, then we don’t have respect for others and especially lack respect for filial piety, this leads to complications in families. Confucius found this intolerable, as he was a firm believer of family unity. If we are not in harmony with our family, then society becomes negatively affected.

He also clarifies; humans and their roles are often detached. To aid this, Confucius suggested, as mentioned, self-discipline. Control yourself to be the best family member you can, respect your family, follow as your father taught you (if one with moral values) and take your role very seriously. For example, a son conduct himself in the way a son should. These prescriptions will in turn, lead to a harmonise world. “Simply by being a good son and friendly to his brothers a man can exert and influence upon government. ” Often times, people say they are going to do something, but never end up doing it.

Confucius found this to be the third human flaw. He explained this flaw caused society to lose its stability. Since we say what we don’t mean, we lose the ability to represent ourselves, as well lose trust in another man’s word. The antidote, make yourself trustworthy, follow through on what you say you’re going to do and put your words to action. The prescription again, has an underlying concept of self-control. Confucius ventured in order to accomplish harmony with the decree of heaven then we must be aware of the past, the classics, and the stories of the great sages.

A sage is a divine being, a model from ancient times that demonstrated the morals, ethics and unity people ought to live by. Confucius stated: “I have no hopes of meeting a sage. ” The reason for the extinction of sages, Confucius speculated: it is ignorance to the past, which he deems is humanity’s fourth flaw. The prescription as follows: each human should be made aware of the past and the way of the Sages, everyone should attend Ju School, which is a Chinese school that studies the six classics. Confucius emphasized this education.

Basically, if we are not aware of humanity’s perfect models, we would lack the ability, and perhaps the motive to become one. Benevolence is not practiced among humans was the finial flaw Confucius diagnosed. People are not compassionate or empathic to others as they should be. And therefore society writhes. Confucius suggested a very important rule: “A benevolent man helps others to take their stand in so far as he himself wishes to take his stand. ” Essentially, we must do to others as we would want done ourselves, or the negative form; do not do to others what we would not want done to ourselves.

Once again, the self-discipline principle shines through. Confucius was confident these principles would diminish much of the pain in the world. Although I do not agree with all aspects of the Confucian theories of human nature, I do tend to agree generally with the diagnoses on what’s wrong with us. Firstly there is no doubt humans tend to be selfish, have a lack of respect for family and people of higher authority, and “roles” are often not followed , in turn affecting society. For example, in my opinion much like Confucius’s, a mother should be nurture, a care giver to her child, putting the child before herself.

Often we hear about mothers who will put partying, drinking, drug use and dating before their child. This example not only demonstrates the selfishness flaw diagnosed in individuals, but also the lack following proper roles. It similarly ties into a third flaw, the lack of benevolence. Obviously a mother in those situations is not doing on to others, as she would want done to herself. People saying and doing two different things is defiantly something I believe is a human flaw and frustrates me often. I would strongly agree it causes trust to be lost in society.

If someone says to me something similar to: “I’m going on a trip next year. ” I tend not to accept it until it happens, because I so often hear it but not see it. I struggle with the flaw; people are unaware of the past and the ways of sages. I suppose, that is because I myself was not raised Confucius, I have never had any influence from this belief system it in the past, and I had no opportunity to attend the Ju school. In fact, this is the first I have learned of sages. What I can say, is that I am greatly interested in learning more about these ideal models, because I do find the practicality of Confucianism very attractive.

And presumably if I agree with the rest of the flaws, I would agree with this one, if I was able deeply study ancient Confucius literature. I also struggle a bit with the prescriptions, all of which seem to come back to the matter of determination and self-discipline. Surely it sounds wonderful that people would exhibit so much self-control, but I don’t know it if possible for everyone, in actual fact I would say majority of people wouldn’t have the capability of such rehabilitation. Contrarily, as I mentioned before, I personally find, once aware of Confucian outlook on the world it is hard not to be enlightened in some way.

I am finding myself reflecting on some of Confucius diagnoses and prescriptions and am encouraged to make small steps toward social harmony. Confucianism is religion based mostly on morality and self-control. Confucius was realistic that all humans are not good innate, so he provided the knowledge of five human flaws: selfishness; lack of filial piety; words are not followed through with actions; ignorance of the past; benevolence is not present in human affairs. He offered his followers a prescription on how o overcome these flaws and promised in turn society would be as it should: a harmonised world including social, political and ecological aspects. One could call Heaven. After studying the Confucius theory of human nature, my outlook and view on many things have either been changed or at least question. I am left to wonder how being born into this belief system may impact an individual views of themselves, and the world around them. Overall Confucianism is a very practical belief system. Confucius seemed very optimistic about humans, in that the species could be improved if they trusted his knowledge.

He offered explanations for the problems in the world, all of the unjust burdens and the suffering. Confucius answered these questions by diagnosing five flaws he observed in human beings, followed by guidelines , on how to overcome these imperfections; Every human fault ultimately comes down to the fact that each human is out of the Decree of Heaven. In turn, diagnoses for these faults, mainly are to be more in line with the Decree of Heaven. This concept, the Decree of Heaven, is essentially the moral compass in which each human should follow.

Let us explore the five diagnoses followed by their prescriptions. Firstly, Confucius explains humans are flawed in that they are selfish. Every individual is continually looking to benefit themselves. Our actions most often are driven by greed, and we are transfixed on personal growth a lot of times without considering others around us. This selfishness is what causes much of the social disharmony in societies. In order to cease this instinct, Confucius requests his listeners to obey the: “Do something for nothing” principle.

In other words, we must make our choices based on what is morally right, and not for any other reason. At the same time Confucius teaches, not to do what is right if you’re only looking to be rewarded and recognized, for that would, again, be just for one’s own self-interest. Once all selfish intents are let go, doing for nothing will be a gift in its own. The selfishness pronounced in people is what Confucius based his next diagnoses on. If we are selfish, then we don’t have respect for others and especially lack respect for filial piety, this leads to complications in families.

Confucius found this intolerable, as he was a firm believer of family unity. If we are not in harmony with our family, then society becomes negatively affected. He also clarifies; humans and their roles are often detached. To aid this, Confucius suggested, as mentioned, self-discipline. Control yourself to be the best family member you can, respect your family, follow as your father taught you (if one with moral values) and take your role very seriously. For example, a son conduct himself in the way a son should. These prescriptions will in turn, lead to a harmonise world. Simply by being a good son and friendly to his brothers a man can exert and influence upon government. ” Often times, people say they are going to do something, but never end up doing it. Confucius found this to be the third human flaw. He explained this flaw caused society to lose its stability. Since we say what we don’t mean, we lose the ability to represent ourselves, as well lose trust in another man’s word. The antidote, make yourself trustworthy, follow through on what you say you’re going to do and put your words to action.

The prescription again, has an underlying concept of self-control. Confucius ventured in order to accomplish harmony with the decree of heaven then we must be aware of the past, the classics, and the stories of the great sages. A sage is a divine being, a model from ancient times that demonstrated the morals, ethics and unity people ought to live by. Confucius stated: “I have no hopes of meeting a sage. ” The reason for the extinction of sages, Confucius speculated: it is ignorance to the past, which he deems is humanity’s fourth flaw.

The prescription as follows: each human should be made aware of the past and the way of the Sages, everyone should attend Ju School, which is a Chinese school that studies the six classics. Confucius emphasized this education. Basically, if we are not aware of humanity’s perfect models, we would lack the ability, and perhaps the motive to become one. Benevolence is not practiced among humans was the finial flaw Confucius diagnosed. People are not compassionate or empathic to others as they should be. And therefore society writhes.

Confucius suggested a very important rule: “A benevolent man helps others to take their stand in so far as he himself wishes to take his stand. ” Essentially, we must do to others as we would want done ourselves, or the negative form; do not do to others what we would not want done to ourselves. Once again, the self-discipline principle shines through. Confucius was confident these principles would diminish much of the pain in the world. Although I do not agree with all aspects of the Confucian theories of human nature, I do tend to agree generally with the diagnoses on what’s wrong with us.

Firstly there is no doubt humans tend to be selfish, have a lack of respect for family and people of higher authority, and “roles” are often not followed , in turn affecting society. For example, in my opinion much like Confucius’s, a mother should be nurture, a care giver to her child, putting the child before herself. Often we hear about mothers who will put partying, drinking, drug use and dating before their child. This example not only demonstrates the selfishness flaw diagnosed in individuals, but also the lack following proper roles.

It similarly ties into a third flaw, the lack of benevolence. Obviously a mother in those situations is not doing on to others, as she would want done to herself. People saying and doing two different things is defiantly something I believe is a human flaw and frustrates me often. I would strongly agree it causes trust to be lost in society. If someone says to me something similar to: “I’m going on a trip next year. ” I tend not to accept it until it happens, because I so often hear it but not see it. I struggle with the flaw; people are unaware of the past and the ways of sages.

I suppose, that is because I myself was not raised Confucius, I have never had any influence from this belief system it in the past, and I had no opportunity to attend the Ju school. In fact, this is the first I have learned of sages. What I can say, is that I am greatly interested in learning more about these ideal models, because I do find the practicality of Confucianism very attractive. And presumably if I agree with the rest of the flaws, I would agree with this one, if I was able deeply study ancient Confucius literature.

I also struggle a bit with the prescriptions, all of which seem to come back to the matter of determination and self-discipline. Surely it sounds wonderful that people would exhibit so much self-control, but I don’t know it if possible for everyone, in actual fact I would say majority of people wouldn’t have the capability of such rehabilitation. Contrarily, as I mentioned before, I personally find, once aware of Confucian outlook on the world it is hard not to be enlightened in some way. I am finding myself reflecting on some of Confucius diagnoses and prescriptions and am encouraged to make small steps toward social harmony.

Confucianism is religion based mostly on morality and self-control. Confucius was realistic that all humans are not good innate, so he provided the knowledge of five human flaws: selfishness; lack of filial piety; words are not followed through with actions; ignorance of the past; benevolence is not present in human affairs. He offered his followers a prescription on how to overcome these flaws and promised in turn society would be as it should: a harmonised world including social, political and ecological aspects. One could call Heaven.

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