Confucius's Influence On The Ideology Of China

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Confucius was born around 550 BC and little did people know he would change the entire ideology of China. His teachings of moral goodness as the law of everyday man were essential and China needed it more than she knew. Criminal punishment up until Confucianism was rather harsh and unforgiving. Confucius on the other hand urged the Chinese to exercise restraint in the imposition of law upon the people (Duhamie). The lash and the Five Punishments gave no restraint and Confucius saw the problematic nature of this. Confucius said, [about government], “If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishment, they will try to avoid punishment, but have no sense of shame. If be led by virtue…. they will have a sense of shame, and moreover will become good” (Cheng). …show more content…
It may seem that Confucius taught that all men are created equal, like what the Westerns powers today believe in, but it was quite the contrary. Confucius held that men should not be equal before law (Cheng). “Confucius divided all people into two classes: superior men and mean men. Superior men, who are virtuous, should not be punished by any means but self-rebuke; mean men, who have no virtue, may be punished by law” (Cheng). This idea by Confucius seems quite contradicting because he is also the one that believes all mean are good by nature. The Chinese legalist school, though, finally approved the idea that men are equal before law, during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty (480-221 BC)

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