Monday, November 17, 2014

Chinese Philosophy Activity

Chinese Philosophy Activity

Buddhists believe that life is suffering, and the main goal of any person is to break free of the cycle of life death and rebirth, known as samsara, and reach Nirvana. To do this, people must live by the Eight-fold Path which is a set of instructions teaching people how to live their lives. They also must have good karma, which is all the actions of their previous lives, good or bad. They also believe that based off of karma, people will be reincarnated as different beings. Good karma leads to better lives in the future or even the chance to leave the cycle of samsara and enter Nirvana.

Confucianism is a philosophy centered around an individuals place in society and family. It is centered around the responsibilities of individuals within certain relationships. There are five main relationships, Father to Son, Ruler to Ruled, Wife to Husband, Friend to Friend, and Oldest Sibling to Younger Siblings. Each party within these relationships had responsibilities, and while it was the duty of the Ruled to be obedient, it was also the duty of the Ruler to be just and honorable. Confucianism also believed that all men should be ethical, and that education was an important part of life. Family was the most basic unit of society, and people were taught to act as if the nation was a family, and the ruler was the father. It also believed that by following these basic tenants, even those of poor or lower class could become good men. The main goal of a leader is to act as both a role model and a benevolent ruler of their people.

Taoism/Daoism is a religion in China focusing on the worship of nature, inner purity and succession of personal desire. They believe in Tao, which is a natural force of reality. Daoism, or "The Way" is the natural order of the world. They are very passive, believing in non-action, and believe that order and equilibrium are the natural and best way of the world. They strive to achieve order, and in a way are very similar to Confucian beliefs, however are more spiritual. They believe that all things came from nothing, and appeared spontaneously due to Tao, without a creator being. Instead of believing in a divine being who controls the world, they believe instead in Tao, a natural force which exists everywhere.

Legalism is a philosophy in stark contrast to Confucian ideals. They believe in harsh and powerful governments to manage the people, and that they cannot lead themselves. They believe that a ruler should run their nation based off of a trinity. This trinity is that of Fa, Shu and Shi. Fa is the belief that laws should be public and equal. They also believed that upholding these laws is paramount, and that those who break them should be given no reprieve. These laws also controlled the state, not the ruler. This meant that these laws were not created to keep unfair rulers in check, but instead merely to control the nation. Shu is the belief that rulers should be secretive and should not allow the state to be lost to others.  Shi is the belief that the rulers post, not the ruler, holds power. This means that a ruler must be vigilant towards current events, should they wish to be a good ruler, as it is them but merely their position which holds the nation.

Religions and Philosophy differ in several ways. Religions are beliefs which explain creation, purpose and the afterlife. They explain not only what to do in this life, but particularly why individuals exist and what happens after death. It also covers how the universe came to exist. Philosophies focus upon how to live this life both ethically and morally. They focus on how to be a good person and what is expected of an individual in society. They do not concern themselves with divinity or spirituality, and focus upon this life and how it can be lived correctly.

Confucianism and Legalism are philosophies, they focus on how life should be lived and what is expected both morally and ethically of an individual and a state. They cover how people should behave in society and life, and not what comes after this life or what came before. Taoism and Buddhism are religions, but also philosophies. They cover not only how the universe was created, what the divine being is, and what comes next, but also how this life should be spent. Taoists believe that order and equilibrium should be the goal of all people, and that life should be spent in non-action. Buddhists believe in the Eight-fold path, which consists of teachings and instructions on how this life should be spent, and what the correct way of life is. It also states that this life should be spent doing good deeds so that others may be better than the last.

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