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The Definition Of Confucianism And Its Principles

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Confucianism is an ancient philosophy about kindness and respect which is based on the teachings of Kung Fuzi He is also known as Confucius. Confucianism is not religion, but philosophy about how to live life, therefore, Confucius was also not God or supreme being with extra power. He was person who was able to transmit wisdom because he created moral code for Chinese people which is based on love, ethics, and humanity. The main principle of it is that people should not do to others what they do not want to be done to them. Confucius suggested that only in this way society can prosper. Although Confucianism is not religion as Christianity, their approach to life is similar:to love and respect others. It mainly focuses on daily lives of people rather than life after death or ruling authorities. Even though this philosophy is mainly practiced in China, it is also spread to nearby countries as Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

There are six fundamental principles of Confucianism. According to this philosophy, people who follow these principles can be called ideal men. The first principle is Li. It proposes that a person should live honorable life, respect elderly, his family. He should not be selfish in his actions. In my opinion, this principle is very effective one for building just society. It does not tell people not to think about themselves, it only says that while achieving personal goals and ambitions they should be just towards others. The second principle is called Hsiao. This principle suggests that parents should love their children and children should love their parents, happy families are important factor for flourishing society. This principle is also very logical. In modern world we witness violence and negative behavior towards others. I believe that such actions come from family. For example, if a person does not feel that he is loved and even experiences violence, in future, he can also act violently towards others. The third principle is Yi which is about righteousness. Confucius says that what is right should be above everything else. For example, if a man wants to help someone, he should do it because it is right to do, but not for some other reason as personal benefit in the future. If he helps others to have some benefit in the future, then his action lacks moral worth. The forth principle is Xin. Its main focus is honesty. Being honest to yourself and others builds confident and trustworthy society. This is also very logical principle because it is impossible to trust people who lie. Another principle is Jen which is considered the most important one among all other principles. It is mainly about humanity and says that people should be kind towards fellows. They should understand each other rather than judge. For instance, if someone behaves negatively towards you, you should not judge him, but instead ask the reason behind and try to understand him. Such approach helps to build healthy society. Sometimes people do not even want to know the cause of others certain actions. The last but not least principle is Chung. It is about being loyal to country and family. People who are loyal to family members and country will never betray them.

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According to Confucianism there are social rituals which set ways of interaction of person with others. In each type of relationship, a person plays certain role. So, the five main relationship types are: ruler and subject, wife and husband, father and son, elder brother and younger brother, friend and friend. The fundamental concept Li determines how these relationships should be prioritized. For Confucius, a good ruler is the one who is benevolent towards his followers and good subject is the one who is loyal to his ruler. A good father is the one who loves his son and good son is respectful to his father. A good husband should be kind towards his wife and listen to her, while the role of wife is to obey her husband. An elder brother should understand his younger siblings, and they in turn, should respect their brother. Finally, two friends should be respectful towards each other. I can say that if each person behaves in the suggested way, then the society will be healthy one. The only thing I do not agree with is the proposition that wife should obey her husband. I think in order to have equal society there should be equality in the family, too. However, Confucius puts father as the most important person in the family. If the father dies, the next one to hold authority is the oldest brother. I think that Confucius put males superior to women because in ancient times males had to earn money and feed their family. Yet, in modern time, everything has change, women the same as men can earn money and contribute to family budget. We can conclude that all relationships in Confucianism should be based on mutual respect. If husband does not listen to his wife and does not consider her desires and thoughts, then he should not wait respect from her. Confucius believed that through the implementation of these basic norms it would be possible to create a warm relationship with each and every person throughout the lifetime span. From the mentioned above relationships, we can see that the majority of described bonds are between the members of the family and we can come up with a conclusion that family and respect to each member play an important role in the fundament of Confucianism.

Even though people who follow Confucianism and Hinduism live nearby in Asia, their teachings are different. While Hinduism is more focused about metaphysics, life, and death, confucianism is solely based on humanity issues. The answer of Confucius to questions about afterlife was: We do not know how to serve man, so how can we know about serving the spirits? We don’t know about life, therefore, how can we know about death?” He stresses that teachers and rulers are very important models for society, therefore they should rule and teach by virtue and moral example, rather than punishment. From my perspective, this approach is very rational because if teachers and rulers themselves would live righteous life, the followers would also want to be like them. However, if rulers themselves are unjust, lie to society, punish them, they cannot establish prosperous government. In case of Hinduism, they believe that people are born in certain social classes and cannot change it. For example, if a person is born in warrior caste, he has to fight and kill when needed. If he is born in poor family, then he has to accept it and should not try to get power.

In conclusion, we can state that in Confucianism healthy society comes from happy and respectful family. It promotes love, understanding and respect towards all members of society. It was about philosophy of life rather than religion. Confucianism was a system of ideas and thoughts establishing social values, human relationships and ideals of traditional Chinese society. From my perspective, in ancient times, there was a need for some rules that would build up civil society and Confucius made a great contribution to it. As I mentioned, it had a huge impact not only in China, but also such countries such as Vietnam, Korea, Japan and even some parts of North America. Fundamental principles of Confucianism were great guideline for people who want to live righteous life. It taught them to be honest, just, respectful, and understanding.

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