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History of Eastern Philosophy - Essay Example

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They believe that religion and philosophy are mutually exclusive and drastically different (Carr, pp. 241-243). They have various arguments in this regard. First, the most important difference between these two is the fact that philosophy aims at uncovering the truth about the universe through a systematic and logical process of rational inquiry and even if any knowledge obtained from some other source or object cannot meet the rational requirements would be discarded. On the other hand, religion promotes rationality to the extent to which it does not collide or negate the existence of a supernatural force or its Holy books. Furthermore, the “knowledge” gained through the holy books or prophets, is also a consideration as the ultimate truth without testing it through any rational or logical means. Second, religion is not complete in the absence of rituals (Ram-Prasad, pp. 85-89). Every religion requires its followers to follow some practices, norms, ceremonies and others, which complete his followership. However, a philosopher can endorse philosophy without having to practice any ceremonies. Third, a closer look would reveal that philosophy is a thinking, which has a beginning but no end. Despite the fact that the whole premise has its basis on awareness the problem, that outweighs the search of a final answer (Bretzke, pp. 141-145). In fact, every answer in philosophy gives rise to new problems and questions. On the other hand, religion takes an approach, which aims at finding a specific answer that puts a full stop to all the discussion. This paper is an attempt to look at the various eastern philosophies such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. The paper will explore these religions and the link with the philosophies, which they have founded over the period. Discussion Taoism, also known as “Daoism, is an eastern religion and philosophy” (Bretzke, pp. 141-145), which is more than two millenniums old. Statistics reveal that there are more than 225 million followers of this religion; however, the numbers is doubtful since many of its followers accept it as a philosophy and associate himself or herself with Confucianism or Buddhism as well at the same time. The founder of this school of thought, Loa Tzu lived a few years before Confucius (Bretzke, pp. 141-145). A comparison of Confucianism and Taoism would reveal that Confucius has actually build upon many of the teachings of Lao Tzu has many of his teachings are an evolved form of Taoists ideals. Loa Tzu believed that the best way of achieving happiness is to stop complaining about the way thing are going, sit back and let nature take care of things (Bretzke, pp. 141-145). His way of doing things is not by doing anything. He believed that everything in the nature has a life and shared a force in the total universal force. Therefore, humans should align their forces and power with that of the universe to achieve satisfaction. Taoism believes that every person has a Yin (the dark side) and Yang (the light side). The best way is to keep them balanced in order to lead the best life. Furthermore, Taoism also appears to be in line with anarchism which believes that there should be no rules or regulations formed by the government. Some Taoists have gone to say that there should be no governments at all since it is against the principle of “doing by doing nothing” (Leaman, p. 74-76). People should have the right to decide everything for themselves. ...Show more


History of Eastern Philosophy Introduction The difference between philosophy and religion is an ongoing debate for many centuries. For many, religion and philosophy are the same since both are looking for the ultimate truth…
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