Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism

1189 words 5 pages
Amidst the chaos of political instability and constant warring of the Zhou era, arose many intellectual thinkers that brought such a profound impact in the fields of politics, religion, and philosophy. Even to this day, their influence can be seen on the many matters of China. Confucianism became the paramount school of thinking and later significant philosophies such as Daoism and Legalism gained immense recognition as well. Each party had their own proposals for creating an idealistic political society where the many problems they faced in their everyday lives could be eliminated. All three approaches were very distinct but at the same time, they contained similarities as well. In my reasoning, I find that Confucianism and Daoism …show more content…
The same sense of mystery or vagueness can be sensed in Daoism. Laozi said, "The way that can be discussed is not the constant way...nameless is the source of Heaven and earth...Their identity can be called a mystery" (Ebrey 27). Both Confucianism and Daoism disfavored a harsh government. Confucius urged to lead the people with virtue and rituals as opposed to government policies and punishment. He believed that the ruler should gain respect through his deeds rather that achieving it through his status and authority. Likewise, Daoism disliked the emphasis of status being displayed in the political realm. It asked for a light government and asked for a ruler that portrayed a serving attitude. Both systems disliked governments that employed killing and wished for a non-aggressive rule. Both beliefs also agree that individuals should foster compassion, humility and moderation for a successful society. By third century, yet another thought system evolved among the numerous small states. Legalism was far different in its ideals and approach unlike its predecessors. Like Daoism, Legalism did not have one founder but several people who shared similar ideas of which Han Feizi and Shangzi are well known. While Confucianism tried to gain total harmony with social order and Daoism searched for the same result in nature, Legalist believed that a strong

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