Learning Goal: I’m working on a religion question and need guidance to help me l

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Learning Goal: I’m working on a religion question and need guidance to help me learn.Confucius:Confucius was alive at the same time as Lao Tzu and each was considered a great philosopher in their own right. Both were responding to the rampant warfare, classism, abuse of political power, and unequal distribution of wealth within the now established large-sized human era of civilization and empire. Lao Tzu was heavily critical of the large sizes of cities and human populations and would always argue for smaller sustainable visions of society. He would even say that to be in imbalance with the Tao would lead to a constant state of collapse for large-sized civilizations. Lao Tzu maintained existence on that scale for human beings is not sustainable. Confucius, while he agreed with Lao Tzu as it concerns the large population sizes, cities, and the Tao, argued large-sized civilization has happened and now we need to somehow make it work. Confucius was all about living a principled life. A life of upright morality and ethical practice in what he would call the development of individual Chun-Tzu (the role model/upright human being). One who is Chun-Tzu cultivates a set of principles and then models these principles when conducting themselves in the world (Earth) and society. Those principles include: human goodness/cultivation of goodness; Chun-Tzu (role model/upright human being); Ren (virtue/deep empathy); Li (propriety/proper conduct); Yi (internalized Li/Li becomes second nature); Shu (reciprocity). Confucius would argue that disharmony arises in a society when humans think of their own advantage at the expense of others. A large-sized society can support human beings but this requires a collective effort on the part of human beings to make that support (good life, food, clothing, shelter) happen. Society needs to think of itself in terms of a whole made up of collective individual efforts versus individual efforts trying to make up a society. Take care of the society. The society takes care of you. Without this effort on the part of individuals then why bother? Yin Yang makes its way into Confucian thinking as well.Examples of Confucian thought:Confucius said: “I can live with coarse rice to eat, water for drink and my arm as a pillow and still be happy. Wealth and honors that one possesses in the midst of injustice are like floating clouds.” (Bilhartz, 2006).
Tzu Kung asked, “Does the Chun-Tzu also have things that they dislike?
Confucius said, “They do. They dislike those that advertise the faults of others. They dislike those who abide in lowliness and slander the great. They dislike those who are bold without right conduct. They dislike those who are convinced of their own perfection and closed off to anything else. How about you, what do you dislike?”Tzu Kung said, “I dislike those who take a little bit of clarity as wisdom; I dislike those who take disclosing people’s weak points to be straightforwardness.” (Slightly modified by me with original translation text from Bilhartz, 2006).Questions to Consider:What does it mean to be Chun-Tzu? A role model?
How should one cultivate and conduct themselves in the Confucian vision of pragmatic, applicable, and principled morality?
How might you address Confucius’s thoughts about the arising of disharmony in a society when human beings only think of themselves? How do you see this in terms of societal leadership and individual responsibility?

 

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