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Confucianism is a system of ethical and philosophical values that are majorly practiced in eastern Asia. Taoism is on the other hand defined as traditionally practiced values that have philosophical and religious characteristics as practiced in the eastern region of Asia.
This paper seeks to discuss both Taoism and Confucianism. The paper will with this respect look into aspects of both Taoism and Confucianism with the aim of comparing and contrasting the two.
Similarities between Confucianism and Taoism
Though Confucianism and Taoism had different histories of origins, there is a great deal of resemblance between the two subjects. One of the similarities that have been identified between the two is their religious nature.
Religion as defined by Nadeau is a “means of ultimate transformation” (Nadeau 1) over lives of individuals. Confucianism and Taoism are considered as religions because of the way in which their practices, beliefs and values have been spread over the world.
Like major world religions, such as Christianity and Islam, Confucianism and Taoism have been spread and adopted by populations outside China.
Following their spread and adoption outside china, Confucianism and Taoism have changed the people who convert from their original beliefs and practices into the Chinese practices. Their spread that results into transformation of converts thus reveals the concepts of religion in them.
The two are reported to have significantly spread to other parts of the world following significant emigration of Chinese from their country carrying along their practices.
Apart from their religious definition, Confucianism and Taoism are reported to be almost concurrently spread across world’s populations. The spread of the two elements were, for example, simultaneously felt in regions such as Asia and even Europe and America. Another similarity between Confucianism and Taoism is their historical origins that can be traced to individual personalities.
Taoism is for example believed to be attributed to Lao-zi who founded and influenced the teaching which was later to be named Taoism. Confucianism has similarly been attributed to a personality with respect to its origin. Confucius, a man of Chinese origin is for example believed to have founded the religion through thoughts and values which he then taught to his disciples who then helped in spreading such beliefs (Nadeau 1).
Zang Haihiua and Baker Geoffrey also illustrated the similarities in the two concepts in terms of beliefs that are attributed to the concepts. One of the common elements between Confucianism and Taoism is their philosophical belief of the “ever changing nature of the world” (Zang and Baker 12).
It was believed under the two principalities that the environment is naturally accustomed to change which is reversible. It was believed under both Confucianism and Taoism that once a process has completed, it will restart and continue in a recycling nature.
Examples of such changes include the rotation of the moon around the earth that completes its process and restart continuously. Another similarity between the two is the “golden rule which promotes the art of achieving a fine balance in life and finding harmony between society and nature” (Zang and Baker 12).
The ethical values like doing what is right as one would want to be done to are some of the common views in the two ideologies that seeks harmony. The two philosophies therefore have a range of similarities (Zang and Baker 12).
Differences between Confucianism and Taoism
As much as the two philosophies share a number of values and ideas as complementary beliefs, they at the same time pose differences. One of the differences is obtained from the similarity of the two schools of thought to attain natural harmony.
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The approaches that the ideologies apply towards the attainment of this harmony is however different. While Confucianism gives an active approach, Taoism applies a passive technique in which harmony is sought through restraint from active involvements with nature.
Confucianism calls for a person’s initiative to create such harmony such as “a man should be a good father to his son, a good son to his father” (Zang and Baker 12). Every individual is thus supposed to take measures to ensure that harmony exists.
On the contrary, Taoism calls for minimum response to “social duties or social orders” (Zang and Baker 12). Harmony between two parties can thus, according to Taoism be attained by all parties avoiding participation in natural involvements.
Confucianism also advocates for obedience to social values while Taoism views such values as regulations that only adds strains to life and on the contrary proposes isolation from such social values. The two ideologies therefore follow different principles even in cases where their social ultimate objectives are perceived to converge (Zang and Baker 12).
Confucianism and Taoism are philosophical ideologies that have their origin in china. They are based of religious and social values as was expressed by their founders. Though they have same geographical origin, the two philosophies have a number of similarities and differences. It is however worth noting that the two make a major contribution to ensuring that people live together peacefully and ethically.
Nadeau, Randal. Confucianism and Taoism. Trinity, n.d. Web. <https://new.trinity.edu/>
Zang, Haihiua and Baker, Geoffrey. Think Like Chinese. Sydney, Australia: Federation Press. Print.