Confucius Vs Laozi

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In China's ancient culture, there were many schools of thought, but the most important two thoughts are Ru tradition from “The Analects” and Daoist School from “Tao Te Ching”, which were created by Confucius and Laozi. Confucius promotes a hierarchical and moral society based on propriety while Laozi promotes a classless and simple social life. Although they seem to be two contradictory propositions, they both claim to go back and rebuild the lost Golden Ages through the way. Confucius advocated going back to an ideal society where people followed propriety. This is shown in the text when Duke Jing of Qi asks Confucius about governing. Confucius responded, “Let the rulers be a true ruler, the ministers true ministers, the fathers …show more content…
Since Laozi thought all the problems and chaos are caused by the complex interpersonal relationships and acute social conflicts. Laozi said “If you overesteem great men, people become powerless. If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal. The Master leads by emptying people’s minds and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition and toughening their resolve.” (Mitchell 1988, 3) Therefore, he wanted to go back to the primitive life that people won’t fight or have conflicts with each other because of their jealousy or ambition based on overestimation. They just focus on their own things and independent of each other. What’s more, if we followed Tao, the whole society would become the way as Laozi pursued. As Laozi promoted, “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” (Mitchell 1988, 8) We would not stumble in confusion and sorrow anymore, instead, we would naturally become tolerant, kindhearted, amused and disinterested. Based on Laozi said in Tao Te Ching: in dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. Thus, it could avoid so many social conflicts and insignificant things. In conflict, be fair and generous, keep the most pure and simple interpersonal relationship with others. In governing, don’t try to control. But just like what Confucius said, be the Pole Star and let people willing to follow you. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. In Laozi’s Age, the society state might be more disordered than Confucius. Thus, he wanted people could realize the importance of these simple life rules, and return to the past based on them. These ways seem easy to follow, but actually it is hard to achieve, especially in Laozi’s complicated and chaotic age. And this is why Laozi also promotes to regression just like Confucius. They both realized the way in the world, and follow it to rebuild

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