Thursday, November 13, 2014

Confucian's Confucing Concerns

Conner Lewis                                                                                                                    11/13/14
Thoughts and Reflections on: The Indifference of Confucius

Confucian's Confucing Concerns

          Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, was different from many others spreading their words throughout the world, as he never stated his teachings were those past down by divine beings. Unlike others, such as Jesus and Abraham, he never claimed to be a prophet of anything divine. In fact, Confucius was quite indifferent to attempting to know the afterlife and understand it foolish and not worthy of his time, and was entirely unconcerned with the creation of the universe. Confucius instead devoted his time, and his thoughts on matters of the present and of this life. He believed that men should focus on improving themselves from the lessons of their past, and of their ancestors. He also believed that to achieve this improvement, people had to learn to respect those higher than themselves, and he taught of the relationships which commanded respect. These relationships are also known as the five bonds; ruler to ruled, father to son, husband to wife, elder brother to younger brother, and friend to friend. However, each member of these bonds had to uphold standards, and it was the duty of those above others to be morally right and good men. This meant that even though it was the duty of the ruled to be obedient, it was the duty of the ruler to uphold themselves as a paragon of virtue, as to be a worthy role model for those beneath them. This belief was unconcerned with the ideas of an afterlife, and deities, and acts more as a social practice and sets of standards which are there to make life more orderly. Confucianism is a social practice and not a religion because it is not a set of stories and doctrines speaking of the origins of the universe, its purpose, and the afterlife. Instead, it focuses on how to be a worthy and model citizen in this life. 
Yin and Yang, often used as a symbol of Confucianism

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