Philosophy Socrates vs. Taoism

2550 words 11 pages
Throughout history western and eastern philosophies have developed a vast segregation from one another. The geographical and cultural distance between eastern and western civilization determined massive differences between the two. On the other hand, the works of ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates, and some eastern philosophies like Taoism have many of the same or common ideas and concepts. Both eastern and western philosophies regardless of having similarities have distinctive differences when examining the view of the conception of the good. In this rgard, each philosophy is noticed to have beliefs that strive for followers to improve their lives and to be on a path of self-purification. This essay will primarily focus on …show more content…

The priesthood views the many gods as manifestations of the Dao, (which has not been represented as an image or a particular being). The concept of a personified deity is foreign to the Tao and Taoism is considered to be a polytheistic religion. Therefore the Tao does not follow prayer as some in the Christian or Catholic faiths may follow. It is believed that there is no god to hear their prayers or to act upon them. Answers to life’s problems are received through deep meditation and external observation. Confucius said, "Make your will one! Don't listen with your ears, listen with your mind. No, don't listen with your mind, but listen with your spirit. Listening stops with the ears, the mind stops with recognition, but spirit is empty- and waits on all things. The Way gathers in emptiness alone. Emptiness is the fasting of the mind." (Section four, p. 54). This example provides a context into achieving what it is to be “good” Taoists believe that by following the Way and achieving Tao is the ultimate achievement. By emptying the mind an individual allows a blank slate for the absorption of knowledge and the development of a virtuous person. To the Tao the Way is nothing but is everything. It can be passed down from generation to generation but is not pliable, it cannot be held physically. The Way is the first existence and the first cause, “The Way has its reality and its signs but is without action or form. You can hand it down but you cannot