The most prominent aspect of Confucianism is the benefit of education for the sake of moral growth and development of an individual for the betterment of the society. The significance of the ideology emanates from the key identified factors, which include filial piety, ritual, loyalty, relationships, and humanity. More importantly, Confucianism bears a lot of weight in the understanding and practice of the social etiquette, rituals, rites, and formation of virtuous institutions in the society as a basis of societal improvement (Yong-Hao, 2012, p. 125). Experientially, the philosophy of Confucianism relies heavily on ethics as opposed to the actual rules. Therefore, the existence of this parallelism can be argued to be the main reason for the high prevalence of corruption in our society.
According to Confucius, social ritual practice and reverence is the most relevant way to govern a state. According to him, social rituals provide huge significance in moral perfection, and it is only ground that is necessary for a man to be complete. Confucianism contends that ritual enhances carefulness, courage, forthrightness, and respect (Kim, 2013, p. 993). For instance, the emphasis of Confucianism is primarily reflected on the worship ritual. The worship and performance of sacrifices to the heaven, ancestors and to the sages is understood as man’s reflection of for the search of guidance, good deeds, and understanding of nature. Confucianism establishes a firm basis upon which the practice of the religious dimension of worship and sacrifices plays a primary function of benevolence and faithfulness in society.
Going forward, Confucianism takes the view that human nature ought to bear more focus on goodness. It claims that every man has the potential and capacity to practice benevolence and gentleness. In essence, the philosophy portends that the natural life of man demands the realization of the moral potency; hence, it is necessary to sacrifice for the sake of righteousness rather than life itself (Yuan, 130). In that regard, Confucianism lays a strong foundation on the need for humanism and potentiality through education and mutual responsibility. The fundamental considerations of this philosophy emphasize duty, hierarchy, and obedience. These core basics constitute the guidelines in how most of the social rituals are conducted.
However, there are many differences that exist between Confucianism and the other standard practices in society. For instance, Taoism holds more regard and importance of freedom, natural living, and equality. Confucianism is concerned with issues such as the preservation of social rituals, one’s responsibilities, and duties in life, what it takes to be a good member of the society and the relations in the family. Conversely, Taoism looks into how people should relate with the natural world and find happiness, the benefit of inner peace, and the true nature of one’s existence in the society (Kim, 2013, p. 985). The other significant difference is reflected in the aspects of Buddhism about Confucianism. Buddhism mainly concerns with individual life and solutions to personal sufferings.
On the other hand, Confucianism looks into the search for social harmony search for the solution to the societal chaos and violence. Confucianism promotes communal sensitivity and regard. However, the nature of society today reveals incompatibility concerning this principle (Kim, 2013, p. 1002). The attitude of self-worth and recognition is seemingly the principal factor reflected in most of the social ritual practices in society today.
Despite the differences revealed in the manner that these ideologies are practiced in society, there are numerous common attributes. Both play an influential role in shaping human life through ritual practices and beliefs. They both emphasize the purpose of God in the life on the life of people and state of nature. They both influence the creation and working of institutions such as political systems, religious organizations, family relations, and community practices.
- Kim, S. (2013). Confucianism and acceptable inequalities. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 39(10), 983-1004
- Yong-Hao, Y. (2012). The Research Tendency And Prospect Of Modern Chinese Confucianism: Centered On Confucianism Renaissance And Cultural Conservatism.” Journal of Social Thoughts and Culture, vol 25, 2012, pp. 125-133. Association of East Asian Social Thoughts