The Firmly Humanistic Orientation Of Confucianism

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The firmly humanistic orientation of Confucianism has appealed to societies in the Far East for generations, due to its realistic world view and emphasis on culture and education, both intellectual and moral. Confucius focused his beliefs around the roles of Filial Piety, Rites, and Goodness in the life of a Gentleman. Unfortunately, Confucius is remembered for sayings that have been attributed to him, not for any writings that have been discovered. Although there are no survived writings by Confucius, there are many by Hsun Tzu that are still accessible. Though some views on human nature differ between the two philosophers, their values and ideas have helped create a generational way of life for many people. An essential theme in…show more content…
In such a concentric culture, it is imperative to be kind to unlikeable people, but to mainly focus on the Good. Confucius said, “In the presence of a good man, think all the time how you may learn to equal him. In the presence of a bad man, turn your gaze within” (IV, 17). It is inevitable that humans who dislike each other will meet on occasion, yet a Confucian does not focus on his negative emotions towards the other person. A Gentleman “whose heart is in the smallest degree set upon Goodness will dislike no one” (IV, 3). This opposes the negative aspect of extreme individualism seen in the West, which is that everyone feels hostile towards each other. People in the Far East do not speak to each other in hateful ways, which is representative of their collective nature. Confucianism and collectivism overlap in many ways, which is why both aspects of society are important in the Far East. Confucius said, “The Gentleman by his culture collects friends about him, and through these friends promotes Goodness” (XII, 24). It is very Good socially and personally to not have an overly strong sense of self. For a Gentleman to be considered good, he must embody positive characteristics, be kind to others, and be humble in his own self-opinion. Rituals are also necessary in a Gentleman’s life, because “in the usages of ritual it is harmony that is prized… If things go amiss, he who
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