Confucianism and Taoism Essay

Decent Essays
Confucianism and Daoism are two influential schools of thoughts that have existed in ancient China around the 6th century BCE. The former, led by the politician and philosopher Confucius, proposed that humans live in society according to a set of predefined rules and that they transform society through political action. Whereas the latter, led by the philosopher Lao-Tzu, promoted the idea of inaction; people should go with the flow instead of taking action to control their lives and dominate their surroundings. Although, at first glance Daoism and Confucianism seem to be two opposing philosophies, a more in depth analysis of two of their key ideas –filial piety and education—reveals that they do share some similarities.

Both Confucianism
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If natural filial piety were expressed in the family from the very beginning, conflict would have no means to arise. Thus, filial piety exists naturally and so should it be expressed.
Confucius also recognizes that filial piety should be expressed naturally. According to Confucius, being filial to our parents is the utmost expression of respect. This is an essential element in obtaining the title of Chun-Tzu, or noble person. However, filial piety is not a one-way street. Parents are also filial to their children and to their parents. Both parent and child have a natural position and responsibility within the family; therefore natural filial piety is reciprocal. It is through recognizing and practicing filial piety in the family that a person will know how to act outside of the family. For in the Confucian tradition, it is realized that filial piety also exists between all beings. This is evident in the Confucian Golden Rule: "Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you” (Book XV). As in Taoist thought, filial piety is something that naturally exists and is reciprocal in nature. To force filial piety into being or to intentionally practice reciprocal filial piety would be going against its true nature. Filial piety must be freely and naturally expressed for it to be truly realized.
When we look at the deeper meaning of filial piety as viewed from
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