Confucism In Mencius And Xunzi

1580 Words 7 Pages
Confucism developed almost 2,500 years ago as a social and political philosophy with religious overtones. It would come to play a great role in Chinese practice and life. The originator of Confucius, Kong Qiu, believed that heaven and the afterlife were too advanced for humans to understand, and so one should focus on doing the right things during the time on earth (Teiser, The Spirits of Chinese Religion). “Lead them by means of regulations and keep order among them through punishments, and the people will evade them and will lack any sense of shame. Lead them through moral force and keep order among them through tires, and they will have a sense of shame and will also correct themselves” (The Analects, 2:3). Sources such as The Analects …show more content…
Mencius (372-289 BCE), worried about the harsh contracts between the ideal of a unified, peaceful, hierarchical feudal kingdom and the reality of nearly constant warfare between independent feudal states in which the large and powerful preyed upon and absorbed the smaller and weaker states (Mencius, On Human Nature). As a result, he adopted the belief that “all human beings have a mind that cannot bear to see the sufferings of other” (Mencius, On Human Nature), a very idealist way of thinking, in order to encourage a ceasing of the constant warfare. On the other hand, Xunzi (310-219 BCE) held a more pragmatic view: that all humans were innately evil. His experience of living through the final wars of the warring states period, which concluded with the Qin’s conquering of all of China’s feudal states (Xunzi, Human nature is Evil), had a huge impact on his ideas. He believed that ritual and rightness were always created by the conscious activity of the …show more content…
The demise of Confucianism caused the most educated scholars in China to search for a philosophy that could provide answers in response to the period of disunity. Several variations of Daoism was encouraged by many people to be the new ideology, since it taught the people how to live in harmony with the world and accept things as they came and went. However, the revival of Daoism was cut short by the impact of Buddhism in China, which had an immense impact on Chinese society and intellectual life and forever changed Confucian philosophy. The Buddha taught about enlightenment and that everyone could attain nirvana, or union with the universal spirit, which offers release from human suffering. When enlightenment was reached, the process of rebirth would cease and the person would be in a state of contentment. By the end of the period of disunity, China was engulfed with Buddhist shrines, temples of Buddhism worship, pavilions and courtyards where religious carnival markets, parades, and festivals were held, and multi-story pagodas that raised the image of Buddhism. During this time, Buddhism would be the universal religion in

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