taoism and confucianism view of human nature
East Asian Concept of human nature Introduction The Eastern Asia region is diverse. It include: Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Taoism, Shinto and Christianity. Confucianism and Buddhism and Taoism have dominated most parts of the region with some states governing system being based on these religions. Chinese government, constitution and the administration policies have been based on the ethics of Confucian traditions and ethics as well as philosophy. Similar to the governing ethics in these region
The religions, Confucianism and Taoism, both originate from indigenous Chinese beliefs and practices. Although they come from the same area in the world, they have several differences alongside their similarities. Additionally, they both are influenced by the Tao; however, they have different meanings behind the concept. Taoism can be summed up as appreciating all that is natural; whereas Confucianism is ideal society model created through a lifetime of relationship dedication. Neither of these
This attitude led to the development of an esoteric practice for male Taoshi that involved cultivating a divine embryo within. Laozi is the model for this practice, and the story of his being born at the age of 81 years was interpreted to mean, not that a female mother had carried him for that long, but that he was his own mother — that is, that the deity Laozi was a divine embryo that had been nourished within the man for all of that time, and eventually was born and replaced the mortal man. It was believed that one who is able to merge male and female energies within, sparking the creation of an embryo, and then was able to successfully nourish that embryo to term, would be able to replace the mortal body with the body of an immortal.
Humans can deviate from the natural order. When they do so, they bring destruction upon themselves and those around them. Confucian scholars were criticized in the Taode jing for imposing rules and social expectations. According to the Taode jing, social mores and threats of punishment cause more harm than good, as they are methods of forcing appropriate behavior rather than allowing it to occur spontaneously and naturally.
Daoist philosophy characteristically contrasts the Cosmic Dao in its naturalness, spontaneity, and eternal rhythmic fluctuation with the artificiality, constraint, and stasis of human society and culture. Humanity will flourish only to the extent that the human way (rendao) is attuned to or harmonized with the Cosmic Dao, in part through the wise rule of sage-kings who practice wuwei, or the virtue of taking no action that is not in accord with nature.
The two great indigenous philosophical and religious traditions of China, Daoism and Confucianism, originated about the same time (6th–5th century BCE) in what are now the neighboring eastern Chinese provinces of Henan and Shandong, respectively. Both traditions have permeated Chinese culture for some 2,500 years. Both are associated with an individual founder, though in the case of Daoism the figure, Laozi (flourished 6th century BCE), is extremely obscure, and some aspects of his traditional biography are almost certainly legendary. A conventional but unlikely story has it that Laozi and Confucius (551–479 BCE), the founder of Confucianism, once met and that the former (older) philosopher was not impressed. Be that as it may, their respective traditions share many of the same ideas (about humanity, society, the ruler, heaven, and the universe), and, over the course of millennia, they have influenced and borrowed from each other. Even since the end of the dynastic period (1911) and the establishment of the communist People’s Republic (1949), which was often violently hostile to religion, the influence of both Daoism and Confucianism in Chinese culture remains strong.
The power acquired by the Daoist is de, the efficacy of the Dao in the human experience, which is translated as “virtue.” Laozi viewed it, however, as different from Confucian virtue:
Wuwei is neither an ideal of absolute inaction nor a mere “not-overdoing.” It is actions so well in accordance with things that their authors leave no traces of themselves in their work: “Perfect activity leaves no track behind it; perfect speech is like a jade worker whose tool leaves no mark.” It is the Dao that “never acts, yet there is nothing it does not do.” There is no true achievement without wuwei because every deliberate intervention in the natural course of things will sooner or later turn into the opposite of what was intended and will result in failure.
. . . When Zhuangzi was about to die, [and] his students wanted to bury him lavishly. He said to them, ‘I’ll have Heaven and earth for a casket, the sun and moon for ornaments, the constellations as pall-bearers, and the ten thousand things as mourners. Isn’t everything prepared for the funeral? What could you add?’
When the ruler loves ritual propriety, then none among the people will dare to be disrespectful. When the ruler loves rightness, then none among the people will dare not to obey. When the ruler loves trustworthiness, then non among the people will dare not to be honest. The mere existence of such a ruler would cause the people throughout the world to bundle their children on their backs and seek him out.