Compare And Contrast Hongzi And Kongzi

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Throughout the long history of China, there are many extraordinary thoughts created by a lot of famous philosophers. Although there are many different schools of teachings and most of them are in opposition to each other, they still share some similarities. In the textbook, Kongzi and Laozi’s teachings serve as a good example. In the Analects, Kongzi emphasizes on ren and xiao which mean benevolence and filial piety, respectively. He believes that filial piety and benevolence are interconnected and says “filial piety and respect for elders constitute the root of Goodness. (Analects, 1.2)” On the contrary, Laozi suggests in the Daodejing that “cut off benevolence, abandon righteousness, and people will return to being filial and kind. (Daodejing, …show more content…
Laozi uses the idea of non-action as a tool and suggests rulers follow it. However, Kongzi considers the idea of non-action as a result which only occurs when rulers understand and practice ritual, goodness, and virtue properly. Politically, he persuades rulers to cultivate themselves rather than just simply follow the natural flow. Kongzi believes that a successful ruler can guide his people without any unnecessary action, and they can be a model for others. The most important character for a successful ruler is de which means virtue, and it can influence others. Kongzi compares the sage king to the Pole Star in the Analects and says “one who rules through the power of Virtue is analogous to the Pole Star: it simply remains in its place and receives the homage of the myriad lesser starts. (Analects, 2.1)” When a ruler tries to use non-action to govern the state, the highest achievement is like the position of the Pole Star. By fully understanding the meaning of non-action, people will follow the ruler faithfully while the ruler is doing nothing. Furthermore, Kongzi emphasizes several times that in order to rule the state by using the idea of non-action, the ruler must correct his own behavior first. Kongzi states that “when the ruler is correct, his will is put into effect without the need for official orders. When the rulers’ person is not correct, he will not be obeyed no matter how many orders he issues. (Analects, 13.6)” In Kongzi’s opinion, non-action as a consequence of rulers’ behaviors rather than a conscious action which is controlled by rulers themselves. When people show their respect to the sage king and obey the law spontaneously, it makes the ruler nothing to do and achieve the stage of non-action. In other words, Laozi’s teaching of non-action is active which means that it can be controlled by rulers’ willingness. However, Kongzi’s teaching of

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