Discussion Questions 4

1101 WordsMar 18, 20155 Pages
Discussion Questions 4 1.) According to Lao-tzu, what must the ruler provide the people with if they are to be happy? “Try to make people happy, and you lay the groundwork for misery.” According to Lao-tzu, in order to make the people happy, the ruler must stop insisting that they find happiness. In verse 66, Lao-tzu describes, “All streams flow to the sea.” By saying this, he is describing that a government must take a position underneath its people in order to ensure their happiness. The government must follow its people, and provide a sense of trust within the governed. 2.) To what extent does Lao-tzu concern himself with individual happiness? Lao-tzu concerns himself with the three values of simplicity, patience, and compassion. As…show more content…
The saint and the sinner both fall down eventually.” This claim of death hints that Lao-tzu sees an ending of life that is tangible, and therefore, he is materialistic in some aspect. 6.) What are the limits and benefits of expression: “Practice not doing, / and everything will fall into place”? This expression can have many benefits. However, if taken literally, can be a detriment to society. What Lao-tzu meant when he said this was that when a government tries to “change the world” they would inevitably drive their constituents to an overly powerful government. When one “stays in the circle of Tao” they are able to let things happen naturally, and the world continues on in a way not affected by human error. However, in order to stay in the circle, one must “practice” being a trustworthy and compassionate person. The people and the government must work hard to build a relationship together that allows for all to be successful. 7.) To what extent is Lao-tzu in favor of military action? What seems to be his views about the military? “Weapons are tools of fear. A decent man will avoid them.” Lao-tzu is against military action. The only way he is in favor of military action is in the “direst necessity.” And only in the most
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