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The Significance of The Concepts of Confucianism

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Words: 3040 |

Pages: 7|

16 min read

Published: Oct 31, 2018

Words: 3040|Pages: 7|16 min read

Published: Oct 31, 2018

Confucianism, being a way of life that can be viewed as a philosophy and sometimes as a religion has been followed by the Chinese for a period of about two millennia. Although the school of thought has been transformed over time, it remains to be a platform of knowledge, the foundation of morals, and the societal policy of the Chinese people. The influence of Confucianism has extended to other countries where kingdoms have competed for power, and the warfare have been prevalent. Confucianism was based on the traditional culture of the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties, dominating feudal societies that have in essence lasted for 2000 years. The influence of Confucianism over the history, social structure, and the people of China cannot, therefore, be overlooked. The concepts of Confucianism are essential in giving our kings the right political direction as they embrace human heartiness, goodness, benevolence, the distinctive nature of human beings as well as the principles of gain, benefit, order, and concrete guide to human nature (Yao 246).

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With a clear understanding of the philosophies and political theories of my day, it is essential for leaders to embrace the concept of the virtue of virtues as described by Confucius. In describing the distinctive nature of human beings, Confucius mentioned that he failed to see the expression of the concept of the virtue of virtues. In his description, he stated that it is from the virtue that other virtues crop although he failed to give a clear definition of the virtue (Yao 251).

Critically, anyone could understand the virtue Confucius meant by analyzing the characteristics associated with the virtue. The virtue that the concept of Confucianism talks about is probably that of human heartedness. It is from the virtue that all other virtues are derived. As a king, the virtue of virtues; human-heartedness is very significant as a personality as a king has to understand all the needs of the society, be it political or social. It is from the virtue of human-heartedness that a king may define all other attributes that would help in clear understanding of the kingdom.

In his definition of the process of becoming a human being, Confucius described real human beings as those who are able to be disciplined, and can return to trial. His definition of human beings focused on the transformation of the self. It is a necessity for a king to maintain high levels of discipline in order to win the respect and loyalty of members of the kingdom. Self-discipline is part of leadership skills that ought to be embraced by leaders globally. During his dynasty, Confucius is said to have freed himself from opinionatedness, making it easier to understand the Confucian “golden rule” which states that “Do not unto others what you would want others to do unto you.” (Chai and Chai).

A king needs to abide by the Confucian golden rule even when he is engaging in wars with enemies. The actions that a kingdom should take against its enemies need to be reasonable enough to show some ethics in ruling. Taking into consideration the availability of women and children alongside other vulnerable groups in the society should be key in the leadership of a king. The Confucius legacy that is created by the “golden rule’ is laden with ethical implications; thus capturing his “plain and real “appreciation that learning to become human is a commercial enterprise.

In his description of humanity, Confucius claimed that persons of humanity nature who wish to establish themselves also need to establish others. Those who wish to enlarge themselves also need to enlarge others. The method of humanity that Confucius derived is essential for leaders such as kings who will always have the aim of establishing themselves. It is necessary that a king takes full responsibility for the kingdom in order to benefit the society members at large.

A competent leader should make accessible public resources that are important for the normal functioning of a kingdom. Some kings may prefer to misappropriate funds for purposes of their own benefits instead of developing their kingdoms. Kingdom development would lead to the growth of economy as well; hence an improvement in the lifestyle of many people. A king who shows the kind of responsibility described can be assured of all the support and loyalty from the people he is ruling.

Confucianism states that a real man will sacrifice himself to preserve his “jen,’ a sense of dignity of human life. Conversely, the sacrifice from an individual is what makes life worth living. Critically, the feelings apply to all men and not only just to one nation. As a king, it is, therefore, significant to sacrifice oneself so as to build a foundation of all human relationships in the kingdom. It is the concept of the sense of dignity to human life that gives human beings their humanity; thus as a king, there is no doubt that the personality ought to be within oneself for an effective control of humanity and nature. Being guided by the sense towards human life is the ultimate goal to human action. A king is required to prove his respect of humanity through actions that show goodness, generosity, and other behavior that makes man appear a unique creature in the planet (Cline).

The principle of “ren” speaks about benevolence, signifying an excellent character in accordance with the ritual norms of the society. The Chinese believed that the principle of humaneness constitute the virtue of loyalty to one’s true nature. A is expected by those whom he is ruling to be true to his nature and not try to adapt to a personality that does not best fit him. The concept of Confucianism, therefore, is characterized by a highly optimistic view of human nature. Moreover, the school of thought holds it that human beings have the faith in the likelihood of ordinary human beings to become very inspiring creatures as it is deeply rooted in the Confucian heritage. From the history of Confucius himself, he managed to live an ordinary life, proving that the assertion that human beings are teachable, improvable, and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor and is characteristically Confucian (Hoobler and Hoobler).

Any ordinary human being would understand the line of argument of the Confucian’s concept that human beings should not be fixed at their thinking but instead be ready to listen to other people’s point of view. As a king, it would be necessary that the advisers who ought to be natives of the kingdom are always ready to advice on matters affecting the society. As a king, taking consideration the advice from other people would be the best option since they experience everyday challenges in the society, as opposed to the king who will always lead a comfortable life at the palace.

In Confucianism, there are no specific rituals or practices that are followed apart from the ethical principles that recognize the human dignity. Confucianism, therefore, observes the practices followed by the existing religion that the Confucians follow. It would be advisable for the king to follow the same concept and join those whom he is ruling in carrying out religious practices. A king is required to embrace all the religions that are in existence in his kingdom as a show of equality among the people despite their religious differences.

Confucianism is not a religion since there are no Confucian deities and teachings about life after death. Confucian was a staunch supporter of ritual; however, there were state rituals that were associated with Confucianism, an indication that the Confucian tradition was instrumental in shaping the Chinese social relationship and moral thought. In other cultural contexts, Confucianism plays the same role as religion; thus there would be no need for a king to be restricted to a particular religion.

The king has a role in ensuring that the cultural practices of the society he is leading are maintained. Being present during the cultural state practices, as it was in Confucianism would make it easier for the king to observe that the culture and practices of the community are maintained. As a king, it can be part of the schedule as planned by advisors to create personal time when the king can practice the religion of his choice. It is advisable that all the state meetings are conducted in rituals and practices that the majority of the citizens follow.

The king ought to be responsible for seeking ways of extending the virtue of a sense for the dignity of human life to other people in the nation. Since the king is the leader of a sovereign state, it is his duty to ensure that citizens are educated and influenced on how to show dignity to human life. Dignity to human life entails curbing incidences of crime in the society. Offenders ought to be transferred to rehabilitation centers where they would be informed about the significance of showing some respect to nature. Rehabilitation centers and other facilities that can be utilized by the state to combat crime such as murder should be spearheaded by the king as a way of showing his efforts in support of the concept of dignity to humanity (Cline).

The concept of “Li” in Confucianism brings out a meaning of concrete guide to human relationships as well as rules that ensure proper action that in the real sense embodies the concept of “Jen” which implies a sense of dignity to human life. Even as the king is responsible for maintaining respect for human life, it is also crucial that a king creates an environment that enhances a concrete guide to human relationships. It is the relationships between individuals that will, in the long run, determine the kind of respect people hold for each other. Poor relationships among individuals in the society will probably create the lack of brotherliness whereby each individual stands for himself. In ensuring good relationships in the society, it would have been a great achievement for the nation as dignity to human life would be embraced. Creating concrete guides to human relationships in a nation is part of the general principle of social order as required by the school of thought of Confucianism (Chai and Chai).

According to Confucius, one needs a well-organized society for a perfect expression of oneself. It is, therefore, the duty of a king to research on different strategies that would ensure an economically stable society. Disorder in the society may be caused by several factors including economic instability that would lead to high costs of living; hence creating disorder. High living costs may also force poor individuals to engage in criminal offenses such as murder even as they look for ways of surviving the difficult economy.

A king is faced with the challenge of ensuring total order by solving all the factors that may create the disorder witnessed in many parts of the world. Political reasons may also be a cause of disorder, more so when the leadership of a king is not satisfactory. As a king, therefore, there is the need to embrace uniformity in distribution of resources and job provisions without favoritism. A solution to all the mentioned factors would make it very easy for the state to observe Confucianism in carrying out its operations.

Things in a state ought to be done in a positive manner rather than in a negative way with an aim of improving human relationships. When a king ensures that every aspect of his leadership is carried out in a positive manner, an emphasis on the importance of openness of people to each other is also brought out. Any leadership requires some element of trust in its people as it is the people who supply the right information regarding the current trends in the society.

The kind of language the leadership of a king chooses should be dependent on the truth of things as it is brought out by the citizens. Failure of the citizens to disclose the right information may misguide the government of a king; hence it may be involved in the usage of a wrong language. A king has the role of assigning different people with the role of spying the society to obtain the right knowledge on the status of the nation. In obtaining the right information, a king can create a concrete guide to human relationships; hence maintaining order.

Confucianism is also based on the doctrine of the mean whereby proper action is taken between two extremes. A king needs to get accurate information on the two extremes in the state; hence finding out the mean of the aspect being calculated. The Confucian canon of the mean ensures proper action without taking one side of the extremes. As a king of a sovereign nation where political pressure is often a challenge, it would be advisable to follow the canon of mean in finding out the best remedy to a problem that has come up (Rubin).

Any king in a country should be well informed of the types of relationships that are mentioned in the Confucian school of thought. The relationships highlight the manner in which things should be done in social life although none of the relationships are transitive. The relations also involve the family as a basic unit of the society. Apart from the family relations, Confucianism involves the relationship between a ruler and the subject. A king is required to get the actual knowledge on how the subject, who is the citizens, ought to be ruled.

As a king, it is advisable to note that every action affects someone else, either directly or indirectly. A king should, therefore, have in mind that there is need for limits to individuality since some people may want to overuse their freedom to affect the well-being of their colleagues. Even the actions of a king can affect the citizens who are the subject to his ruling. It is recommended that a king sets a perfect example by being on the front row in setting limits to his individuality. By putting limits to individuality, there would be order as Confucius sort out an entire way of life. Confucius noted that any individual should not be left alone to improvise responses since people may be at a loss as how to behave. It is noted in literary works that well-conducted people are not faced with problems because of the order of events in their lives.

The school of thought of Confucianism recommends the application of “Yi”; righteousness to do well as a superior man. The concept connotes a moral sense by emphasizing on the ability to do what is right and good. A king needs to be in possession of moral wisdom even it means being persistent in consulting his advisers on the state of the nation. Wisdom is a gift that is believed to be coming from supernatural powers, depending on the religion of a given group of people. It is also believed that everybody is surrounded by some people who are blessed with the special gift of making critical decisions. As a king, it is no exception that there are people in the state that can help in making vital decisions (Rubin).

The concept of righteousness discourages the impersonal ego that most people in the society posses. According to the Confucian concept, the impersonal ego refers to the assimilated values of the culture. The ability to identify whether an action is good or wrong is, therefore, determined by the Confucian true self that describes the definition of impersonal ego. The school of thought has it that some deeds ought to be done for the main reason that they are right, regardless of what they produce and not for the sake of something else.

As a leader of a nation, it is significant to note that the value in any act is the rightness of the specific action despite the purpose for which the action was intended or the impact of the action. Being in charge of all the actions in a state, a king has to be keen in noting the rightness of any action that is taken under his leadership. Confucianism, therefore, is similar to Kant’s ethics of duty that states that the action done is good in itself and not as a means to an end.

A king has to show reverence in his line of duty as recommended in the “Hsiao’” concept of Confucianism. For instance, parents are often honored by their children because of the great work they do in their lives. People perceive that one ought to do well and make the family name known and respected. Similarly, a king needs to do his best to make the name of the country he is ruling known and honored globally.

In doing so, a king gives the country the required physical care as well as emotional and spiritual richness. It is essential that a king makes his unfulfilled aims a purpose for the society in case he dies before completing his term as the king. Moral wisdom is noted to have its source from the knowledge of what is right or wrong. The concept of “Chih” in Confucianism implies that people are basically born well as it is upon us to draw the differences between right and wrong from our mind. The Mencius school of thought claims that man is a moral animal while Confucius states that it is possible for man to be good. It is, therefore, advisable for a king of a competitive nation to follow the Confucianism concept about the morality of man in order to drive the society to greater levels.

As a king, it is vital that one needs nothing for himself, bit instead work under the control of others who deserve to be served. The concept of “Chun-tzu” as in Confucianism notes that the man who does not intend to benefit himself with riches as a leader is the ideal and superior man. Critically, very few people can achieve the idea, and so the king is needed to be among the few people with the central virtue.

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In a nutshell, Confucianism is characterized as a system that entails social and ethical philosophy rather than religion. The school of thought is built on ancient religious foundation; hence can be utilized by current leaders to establish social values, institution, and other ideals in the contemporary society.

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The Significance of the Concepts of Confucianism. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-significance-of-the-concepts-of-confucianism/
“The Significance of the Concepts of Confucianism.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-significance-of-the-concepts-of-confucianism/
The Significance of the Concepts of Confucianism. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-significance-of-the-concepts-of-confucianism/> [Accessed 22 Feb. 2024].
The Significance of the Concepts of Confucianism [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2024 Feb 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-significance-of-the-concepts-of-confucianism/
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