Essay about Comparison of Taoism and Confucianism

1167 Words Mar 7th, 2007 5 Pages
Confucianism and Taoism have contrasting views on both religion and politics. However, they stem from a similar goal and have similar beliefs. Confucianism is mainly centered around virtue and ethics as a means to an ordered society and believes that an ordered society is what people should strive for. Taoism, on the other hand, focuses on the individual life in relation to the Tao, or "way of nature." Both are considered philosophies and not religions and acknowledge a path that a person should follow in life. However, they take opposing views not only on religion and politics, but also on the person's responsibilities. Confucianism is based on the teachings of Confucius (also known as Kongzi). In these teachings Confucius talks …show more content…
Their view on politics is to stay out of them. In other words, the best ruler is one who creates less chaos by not going against the Tao. Although Confucianism and Taoism have different points, they have distinct political and religious views. Confucians actively pursue a good government and social order through virtuous actions giving little thought to spiritual matters where as the Taoists concentrate on these spiritual matters and try to stay out of political ones. In spite of all this, they both strive to accomplish creating a good society and are simply two opposite ways to go about achieving such. As mentioned, there are two types of Taoism. The first was created by Laozi and it is off of this one that Zhuangzi's version was derived. Laozi thought the Tao was based on nature and takes no action but yet everything still lives. Where as Zhuangzi believed that things lived in conflict and would not harmonize were it not for the Tao. That is the main difference between the Zhuangzi and Laozi forms of Taoism. From that difference many others are stemmed. One of the differences caused from that is centered around the belief of wu-wei. Laozi believed it to mean that people never have to do anything except adapt their actions to coincide with nature by following the rules of Tao. Zhuangzi felt it meant that was not what it meant and that people should take action as long as it was not

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