The Five Main Concepts Of Confucianism

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Confucianism, also called Ruism, is a way of life. It was founded by the Chinese philosopher Confucius, and developed by one of his students, Mencius. There are five main concepts of Confucianism, which are humaneness (ren), righteousness (yi), ritual/propriety (li), wisdom (zhi) and trustworthiness (xin), “which are believed to be as constant and unchanging as natural laws, remaining the same for all time and guiding/ordering all other virtues.” (Yao, 53)
The first concept of the Confucianism is Ren (jen). Ren represents humaneness and compassion (Lecture 10/10). When it is written in Chinese character, it consists of two characters which are ‘man’ on the left and ‘two’ on the right. It literally means the relationship between two human beings,
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It represents ritual propriety, civility which is social virtue, and guide to human action. It is about how to give and receive honor from others. Therefore, respect is an important part of Li. Li has two basic meanings. The first meaning is concrete guide to human relationships or rules of proper action that genuinely embody ren. In order to genuinely embody ren, which means in order to be humane, one has to be positive rather than negative. When being positive, one can build more successful relationships. One also needs to be open to each other. Confucius talks about the five relationships: father and son, older brother and younger brother, husband and wife, older friend and younger friend, and lastly ruler and subject. Father-and-son relationship should be based on love and reverential. Older brother should be gentle to the younger one, and the younger one should respect the older brother. Husband and wife should be good to each other and listening to each other. Older friend and younger friend should be considerate and deferential. Lastly, ruler should be benevolent toward the subject, and the subject should be loyal to the ruler. As shown, three of these five relationships are family relationships. It tells that Confucianism, again, emphasize the importance of family since family is the basic, smallest unit in society. And Li is often associated with husband and wife relationship because Li is about respect (Lecture 10/10). The …show more content…
If he is wise but is wise about something wrong, we would not call him wise anymore. Wise people should be humane, and understand what is rightness. The real man of wisdom should be able to distinguish truth from falsehood, and should be rational and sane.
The last concept of Confucianism is xin, trustworthiness, integrity, and faithfulness. Xin is being trustworthy to others and not lying to them. Therefore, xin is the basis of leadership. Once one builds relationship with others and assure others that he is trustworthy and someone whom others can rely on, others will naturally trust him, and he will have manifestation of the other values. An important thing he sure be careful of is that he should act in a trustworthy way, but he should be careful not to allow himself to be a victim or taken advantage of.
Confucius thought xin as an indispensable value of human, and only those with xin could be appointed to high position. If there was one without xin, he called him a shallow person. Therfore, xin is a basis for keeping a group or even administrating a country because kings, presidents, and all the politicians should be trustworthy enough to rule the whole country. The people and nation have to trust what they are doing and follow and respect their

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