Filial Piety In Hong Kongzi

Decent Essays
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…
In his teachings, Dao which means the Way plays an important role, and it can be regarded as a foundation that generates everything in the world. He indicates that “the Way produces the one. The one produces two. Two produces three. Three produces the myriad creatures. (Daodejing, Ch.42)” In the Daodejing, the key element of the Dao is the nature, and Laozi believes that the nature will construct itself without any help from humans. When people try to run counter to the way, it will result in unexpected consequences. Therefore, Laozi’s non-action focuses on the importance of the nature and suggests people should not go against the nature but follow its flow. However, Kongzi emphasizes on the way of Heaven in his teachings and advocates to follow the virtue of ancestors. He only directly mentions the idea of non-action once in the Analects 15.5. Unlike Laozi, Kongzi’s non-action has the precondition which is about self-cultivation. He indicates that Shun is the one who uses the idea of non-action to rule the state, and before he does so, he “made himself reverent and took his proper [ritual] position faction south. (Analects 15.5)” Some basic conceptions of Laozi’s teachings are virtue and benevolence. Therefore, Kongzi’s non-action is based on self-cultivation and by practicing and understanding virtue and benevolence, people can move to the non-action …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

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