Essay on Comparison of Taoism and Confucianism

1153 Words Feb 17th, 2007 5 Pages
Confucianism and Taoism have contrasting views on both religion and politics. However, they stem from a similar goal and have similar beliefs. Confucianism is mainly centered around virtue and ethics as a means to an ordered society and believes that an ordered society is what people should strive for. Taoism, on the other hand, focuses on the individual life in relation to the Tao, or "way of nature." Both are considered philosophies and not religions and acknowledge a path that a person should follow in life. However, they take opposing views not only on religion and politics, but also on the person's responsibilities. Confucianism is based on the teachings of Confucius (also known as Kongzi). In these teachings Confucius talks …show more content…
This is greatly illustrated in the book "Monkey" where the Monkey King mentions his desire to live forever at numerous points. The Taoist philosophy is based on the teachings of Laozi and seems to have a more religious flow to it. Where as Confucian writings focus on the government and social order. Confucius believed that if a person behaved properly, then their family would follow suit, then their neighborhood, their city, and in time the whole country. The basis for a good system of government was the ideal Confucius family. Confucius talked about the 5 relations. They are emperor/subject, parent/child, husband/wife, older sibling/young sibling, friend/friend; all of which (with the exception of friend/friend) were based on the parent/child relationship. A large part of Confucianism is filial piety. The Superior Man, according to Confucian beliefs, is not only virtuous because of his actions but because of his attitude as well. This is why the Confucian belief that should the government behave in such a way the whole country will see this good and follow it. Unlike the Confucians, who actively tried to change the political system, Taoists pursue wuwei (nonaction) in living. According to the Tao Te Ching, by not acting one is not doing any harm which is the result of surrendering to the Tao. By doing such, one no longer has a corrupt nature and is moral and perfect human. If a person is in harmony with the Tao they are also in harmony with all