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Confucian Ethics - Essay Example

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Confucian Ethics

Confucius, the founder of Confucianism believed on a golden rule based on the belief that people should do unto others, what they would like to be done unto them His ethical code was based on humanity, love, and morality. Rather than being based on religious beliefs, Confucianism is based on a system of social and ethical principles.
In East Asia, Confucianism touches on all aspects of life (Slote and De Vos 5). These include the family, education, society, and government. Although Confucianism has most of the times been grouped together with other religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Judaism, it is not a systemised religion. According to Slote and De Vos, “a viable way of life for so many and for so long, Confucianism has sometimes been viewed as a philosophy and sometimes as a religion” (5). ...
Confucius stressed that despite the fact that strict observation of traditional rituals is important, a devoted spirit and a sincere heart are even more important. He found no value in performing rituals, while a person was inhuman or lacked humanness. According to him, taking a keen look at person’s actions, motives, and preferences, then his or her real character is revealed and cannot be concealed. Confucian ethics revolve around associations among human beings. The philosophy mainly “revolves around family relationships, especially around the relationships between parents and children, between elder and younger brothers, and between husband and wife” (Yao 32-33). The Confucian belief is based on the grounds that fulfilment or responsibilities in these relationships should be done with a complete and genuine heart. However, despite revolving around the family, the Confucian moral philosophy is not restrained within the family, but also the society. Emphasis is placed on the family because it is the foundation of peace around the world and order in the society. According to Yao (33), the Confucian “logic is that the family is the basic unit of the human community and that harmonious family relationships will inevitably lead to a harmonious society and a peaceful state”. The virtues of leaders within their families are very vital and determine how they rule organisations and a nation, since the basis of their actions, motives, and preferences is found within their family units. This consequently has an effect on a whole nation. A ruler who has intense love and devotion for his relatives, parents, friends, wife, and children is humane to the common people in the society and treats them with honour and consideration. Such kinds of rulers are ...Show more


The traditional Chinese culture is founded on Confucianism (Hoobler, D. and Hoobler, T. 10). Hoobler, D. and Hoobler, T. define Confucianism as “a system of thought based on the teachings of Confucius, who lived from 551 to 479 B.C.E.” …
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