Master Kong, also known as Confucius, began the philosophical and ethical system of Confucianism. Humanitarianism is the core belief of Confucianism. The belief system is based on the philosophy that humans are, by nature, communal and social beings and that everyone has a specific role to play. The Five Great Relationships and the Five Virtues are concepts followed in Confucianism. The Five Great Relationships
Confucius believed that people have specific roles in society. He believed that their inherent desire to live around other people, or in a society, depended on people knowing how to behave in their own role. Confucius established the Five Great Relationships to help people understand the order of living in a society. The Five Great Relationships are ruler and subject; father and son; elder brother and younger brother; husband and wife; friend and friend. These five relationships establish where most people fall in their lives with other people. Understanding the idea of obedience and respect to their elders or superiors and also that the elder or superior has a duty of responsibility back to the subordinate is the basis of the Five Great Relationships. The Ideal Person
Confucius believed that the Ideal Person should live according to the principles of Jen, Li, and Yi, Chih, and Hsin. These five principles are also known as the Five Virtues. Confucius believed if people followed these virtues in their daily living that they were working towards the perfection that was already inside them. Jen means to live with goodwill and sympathy towards other people. Jen also includes being generous and polite to others. Yi means to respect your position towards others and towards nature. Li means practicing expressing the person’s inner attitude through their outward expressions. Chih means wisdom. By demonstrating Jen, Yi, and Li a person is demonstrating Chih. Hsin is faithfulness and trustworthiness and shows how wise a person is by displaying the previous four virtues together. Role of Confucianism in China today
Confucianism has begun to resurface in China and is making a revival in education systems across China, mainly private schools, and not in the public school system. Confucian texts are being used to help children regain memorization skills. The Chinese are looking for a way to return to the past and to reinvent themselves in a move away from Maoism. The Chinese are looking for and trying to create an ideal society. The Chinese government is not embracing the Confucian revival but is allowing it to be discusses as a part of China’s history. Conclusion
Although not considered a religion there is constant debate about the philosophy of Confucianism. Confucius taught the Five Great Relationships as a way to establish order and respect of the citizens in society. The Five Virtues teaches each individual how to live as a good person within the society. Although the philosophy is still alive in China the government is not embracing it as a way of turning around their societal beliefs but many still follow the teachings. Living a good life for yourself and towards others is the basis of Confucianism.