Philosophy Paper Example on Daoism and Confucianism

Published: 2021-07-29
944 words
4 pages
8 min to read
George Washington University
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What is the meaning of Dao? How does Daoism view human nature? What is the human predicament, or problem, according to Daoist teachings, and how do we, as humans, achieve harmony with the Dao?

The word for word meaning of Dao is a path, road or way. Equally, Dao can refer to philosophical tradition, a tradition that later came to be known as Daoism or Taoism. Daoism, a Chinese religious philosophy, believes that human beings should lead an honest and straightforward life. The natural course of events should not be interfered with by the people. In history, Daoism has become an important religion. It is undoubtedly a unique religion. Lao Tzu, a man who lived around year 604 B.C.E, was the founder of Daoism. The uniqueness of Tao has enabled the faith to flourish over a span of 2000 years.

Daoism has a perspective that points out that when the nature of human is in line with the rest of nature, then harmony and order become the results. The people can take a different direction from the natural way. However, when humans do so, destruction is brought upon themselves. Taode Jing, a classic Chinese text, accords that threats of punishment and social mores are harmful because they force one to have an appropriate behavior instead of letting it happen naturally and spontaneously. The way to encouraging a proper behavior is to model it.

Intimately, the human nature concepts in Taoism are in connection with the body. Taoism greatly influenced the development of conventional Chinese medicine. Taoist principles viewed illness as lack of harmony and alignment in the body. The Taoists equally considered the human body to be the host place of the gods. In the Taoist's text, the body is described as a divine court wherein each god resided. There was equally a belief that in each organ, there was a god who was living there. There was a god on each eye, on the head, and so on. All the deities took charge to oversee a proper function of every body part. It was this concept that led to conduction of ritual practices to welcome the gods to the body.

What is the human predicament, or problem, according to Confucianism? How do we, as humans, move towards perfect harmony, both individually, and within society? Do you agree with the Confucian idea that individual perfection can only be achieved within a community? In your own life, how have your relationships with family or friends positively or negatively impacted your own internal growth as an individual?

According to the teachings of Daoist, the human problem or problem is evil and suffering. Nature is a moral according to the Taode Jing as it does not care about individuals in any way. The Zhuangzi emphasized on death as part of the natural cycle. Illness, misfortunes, and death are aspects that are inevitable in human life. They aren't manifestations of evil or punishment or the misdeeds. As human beings, we achieve harmony with the Dao by following Wuiwei or equally less action activity. We should let everything happen naturally without any interference.

Suffering and evil according to Confucianism interpretations are predicaments or problems that are inevitable in the human life. They can lead to growth and learning of an individual. A committed mistake is not termed as a sin but provides a chance for learning and doing better the next time. Confucian most influential reflections concerning suffering and the evil problem arose from Mengzi. The Mengzi's faith in power (Tian) as the basis of political authority has remained unshakable. The moral failure of Mengzi and some evils are clear reminders of the importance of human beings to keep the morals in the universe. The earthquakes and famines experienced made the human beings inspect their dealings morally, and the ones of their leaders and could even change the regime to avert the predicaments or the problems.

To move to perfect harmony in the society and individually, it is very important to emphasize on the harmony of the relationships of human beings. This emphasis was credited to a teacher known as Confucius. The teacher with his students traveled for many years trying to convince the princes to make use of his philosophy in government without success. He believed that the moral way could make a society move to perfect harmony and justice as even at an individual level. Thus, for us as human beings to move towards perfect harmony be it individually or society, we ought to take the harmony seriously in our relationships.

Yes, I agree with the idea of Confucian that individual perfection is only achieved within a community. This is because of the love and support an individual can get from the community or family in case we need any assistance. Confucianism holds the belief that human beings are hardly isolated individuals and to achieve individual moral perfection, it has to be based on the relational and communal setting, and I agree with them. In my life, relationships with family and friends have impacted in my internal growth. In my growing up with my family and friends, most values and morals were inculcated in me. The values and morals range from making good choices in life to differentiating of right from wrong. Equally, my family and friends have been a source of support in everything I put my heart and mind into doing. It is so true that the children always emulate and model the way they see the parents give love to one another. The same thing is what I imitated from my parents, and I can be able to share the love with others equally.

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