During the time in which Hinduism andBuddhism were the over-ruling religions in China, Confucianism was being born.
Confucius, the founder, was born September 28th 551BC. He grew up inextreme poverty. Although his family was poor and could not afford goodschooling or supplies, Confucius still excelled in his education. There are fewrecords about his childhood. A Chinese teacher, editor, philosopher andpolitician were what he grew up to be. Three main questions about Confucianismare: how was it founded, what Confucianism is and how it affected society.
In the same way that Jesus Christ wasnot the founder of Christianity, Confucius was not the founder of Confucianism.Confucius lived in an era of a psychological crisis in China. He believed Chinawas being run by dishonest and rude people. Even though Traditional ways fadedaway, it did not subside their plausible likelihood to return. Moral values andor ethics were what he thought China needed to change back to. In his ownopinion, these old morals were the only to get China back in order. For theadmirable civilization of the Western Zhou Dynasty, Confucius work greatly. Hesaw himself as a conservationist responsible for the ongoing nature of culturalvalues and the conventional foundations of social structure.
At the age offifty-six, Confucius left China to find another feudal state to accept his newway of life. Confucianism uses old ethics and practices which entirely make upthis religion. Because Confucius felt China was beingrun by vulgar people, he wanted to start using the old ethics to return them toorder. Some of the basic guidelines included: a king should lead by example,inspiring good behavior in the townspeople and fathers should display highermoral value to inspire their family. Majority of the rules of Confucianismwhere about following the example supplied by the superior or being obedient toone’s family.
Other than these simple guidelines there was also the ethics.They were tremendously important to the religion. The ethics were described ashumanistic and were organized into five constants. These five constantsconsisted of: Rén (humaneness), Yi (righteousness), Lî (proper), Zhi(knowledge) and Xin (integrity). Humaneness is considered the essence of beinga human, enriched by heaven.
“Do not do to others as you would not wish done toyourself”, is the focus of Rén. Right incorporates the entirety of humaninteraction between humanity, human objects, and nature. Within the discussionsof Li, topics such as: learning, tea drinking, titles, mourning and governanceappeared. When concerning loyalty, Confucius did not say “might makes right”,but rather your superior shall be obeyed because of his morally correctbehaviour or thought process. Loyalty does not equal subservience to authority.Another important aspect that is not part of the five constants is Xiáo (FilialPiety). Filial Piety is the virtue of respect for one’s family and ancestors.
It focuses on being good to one’s parents, including: taking care core of themand enroll in good conduct. Xiáo also means: to not be rebellious, show love,respect, support and mourn for your family’s sickness or death. Returning tothese old practices effected the society greatly. Confucianismhad many effects on Chinese society. During his travels to different regions,Confucius became a respected teacher.
Ideas were passed down by his students.His ideas and thoughts were collected into a book called The Analects. The bookmostly likely took around thirty to fifty years to write. The unstructuredformality of the analects led to scholars believing it was written by manyauthors, not just one. If someone did not know The Analects, they were considereduneducated.
For two-thousand years The Analects were the focus of Chineseeducation. The book was the foundation for Chinese education up until the communisttake-over. Confucianism and The Analects were disapproved by the government.Despite the new government, Confucianism was still an important part of Chinesesociety. Because it was so rooted into their culture, it still plays a majorpart in their lives. Some of the ethics are still used today.