Describe the Ideal Person According to Confucius and the Concepts of Ren, Li, Shu, Xaio, and Wen

In: Religion Topics

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Confucian Humanism
Magdalena A. Villaba

If one word could characterize Chinese civilization, it would be Humanisn.

Humanism is taken to generally mean- that man and his activities are given great importance. Thus, it is said that one of the characteristics of Chinese thought is this- worldliness- in other words, greater attention to life in this world. Humanism’s emphasis is on man’s self- dependence rather than dependence in heaven or the ancestors. In fact, it was a humanism that professes the utility of man and heaven. It is in this sense that humanism has dominated Chinese thought from the dawn of history.

Humanism is an outgrowth of historical and social change. To understand Confucius, it is necessary to realize what sort of a world he lived in. He is criticized as having been too much interested in the orderly arrangement of affairs, but it must be remembered that he was trying to bring order out of something close to chaos. To hold his revolutionary ideas and to talk to them as he freely did in a world where these were extremely dangerous gave life adventure enough.

Chinese history starts with the Shang dynasty. This civilization suffered a setback when in 1122 B.C., according to traditional chronology, the Shang were conquered by a coalition of relatively rude tribesmen. The conquerors were led by the Chou people who established the Chou dynasty. The invaders pushed their conquest to cover a considerable portion of North China, but it was impossible for them to administer the territory as a strongly centralized state. Out of necessity, most of their territories were parceled out to the relatives of the Chou ruler and to the chiefs of the other tribes that had assisted in the conquest. Thus, there is growth of a feudal system where each vassal was free to rule his own territory as he pleased, as long as he did not disturb the peace of the realm. The…...

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