Principle:Confucianism all about the brotherhood of humanity.Taoists believe that life is good. Taoism lays emphasis on the body. Belief of God:One God. Ancestors also worshipped, though.Most follow numerous deities. Place of worship:Temple.Temple, shrine
Place of origin:ChinaChina
Definition:Follower of Confucius.Follower of the Tao(or ‘the Way’). Literal Meaning:Follower of Confucius.Tao means ‘The Way.’ Use of statues and pictures:Permitted.Permitted.
Branches:Neo Confucianism, Han Confucianism, Contemporary Confucianism, Japanese Confucianism, Vietnamese Confucianism, Singapore Confucianism.Philosophical Taoism, Religious Taoism and Folk Taoism. Chen Tao, Ascended Masters, etc. Clergy:Sages, bureaucrats, etc.Priests, Monks and nuns.
Scriptures:Analects of Confucius and Mencius; I Ching; Doctrine of Mean, etc.Tao Te Ching; I Ching Concept of Deity:Most believe in One God(Ti’en; or Heaven), but, in the way that a Deist would, rather than as a Christian or a Sikh would. Ancestors are also worshipped.Most believe in numerous deities. The highest being the Jade Emperor. They especially worship ‘The Three Pure Ones.’ Practices:Visit to temples to pay homage to Ti’en(God or Heaven), Confucius, and/or ancestors. Neo-Confucianists practice ‘Jing zuo,’ or ‘Quiet Sitting,’ as a kind of meditation.Visit to shrines, to pay homage to Taoist deities; Tai Chi, etc. Holy days:Chinese New Year, Teacher Day, Ancestor Day.Chinese New Year, Three Day Festival of the Dead Views on other religion:Sees no contraction in following more than one religion.Sees no contradiction in following more than one religion. Prophet:Confucius.Lao Tzu.
View of other Dharmic religions:Confucianism is an Oriental religion, not a Dharmic one. However, most Confucianists follow Buddhism as well.Taoism is an Oriental religion, not a Dharmic one. However, most Taoists follow Buddhism as well. About:Refers to philosophy and religious traditions that focused on respect, humanism, and honour.Refers to philosophy and religious traditions that focused on compassion, moderation and humility. Three Jewels:The Three Teachings: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.Compassion, moderation and humility. Angels:There is no concept of angels in Confucianism.No concept of angels. Geographical distribution and predominance:Confucianism has influenced East Asia for over two millenia.Taoism has influenced East Asia for over two millennia. Place and Time of origin:China approx. 2500 B.C.Approx. 2,500 years ago. China Time of origin:Approx. 2500 B.C.Approx. 2500 B.C.
View of the Buddha:Buddha is followed by many Confucianists.Buddha is followed by many Taoists. Belief of God:God’s will is done.Numerous non-creator deities, the 3 most important being the 3 pure ones: The Jade Pure One(Jade Emperor), The Supreme Pure One, and the Grand Pure One(Lao Tzu). Concept of God:One GodNumerous deities.
View of Oriental religions:Confucianists see no contradiction in following more than one religion.Although Taoism sees Confucianism as being too beaurocratic, it sees no contradiction in belonging to Confucianism, nor any other Oriental faith. Status of women:Socially inferior to men.generally equal, spoken of highly in the tao te ching (oldest taoist text) but varies among schools. View of Abrahamic religions:Confucianism is an Oriental religion. Not an Abrahamic religion. Confucianism sees no contradiction in following more than one path.Taoism is an Oriental religion. Not an Abrahamic religion. Taoism sees no contradiction in following more than one path. Life after death:To be worshipped as ancestors.Taoists believe that the soul survives after death and has the ability to travel through space. Human Nature:Humans should respect those who are superior to them.
Humans should just follow the Tao(or ‘the Way’). Second coming of Jesus:N/A.N/A. Rather, Taoists believe that Lao Tzu will return. View of God:One God.Taoism does not believe in a Single Creator God. They believe in numerous non-creator deities. Means of salvation:By faithfully observing the following: Li=ritual, propriety, and etiquette. Hsaio=Love between parents and children. Yi=Righteousness. Xin=Honesty. Jen=Benevolence. Chung=Loyalty to one’s state.By following the Tao. View of Animistic religions:Confucianism sees no contradiction in following more than one religion.N/A. Marriage:Social order between man and wife.Between one man and one woman. Promised Holy one.:The Superior Man.Li Hong.
Belief:Confucianism is both a religion and a philosophy of China, and of Asia as a whole. It stresses human conduct over belief in God.Taoism is both a religion and a philosophy of China, and of Asia as a whole. It stresses humanity’s relationship with nature. Holy days/Official Holidays:Chinese New Year, Teacher Day, Ancestor Day.Chinese New Year, 3 Day Festival of the Dead, Ancestor Day. Use of statues:Relatively common.Common.
Prophets:They do not believe in prophets. They believe in sages and philosophers.They do not believe in prophets. They believe in philosophers. God’s role in salvation:Everything is done according to His Will.Follow the Tao, and all will be fine. View of other Oriental religions:Confucius sought advise from Lao Tzu, concerning rituals and cermonies. Confucianism sees no contradiction in following more than one religion.Usually follows other Oriental religions, especially Confucianism. Original Languages:Mandarin or CantoneseMandarin or Cantonese. Goal of Philosophy:Social Harmony.To gain balance in life. Clothes:Confucianists wear robes.Taoist robes.
*Confucianism and Taoism are both ancient chinese styles of living. Confucianism believes in setting good examples for others to follow primarily in 5 key relationships: ruler & subject, wife & husband, older & younger sibling, friend & friend, father & son. Taoism, aka daoism, was a way of living in which there were not many rules and believes in the dialectical philosophy of inaction.Through nature and harmony you can be happy.This is where yin and yang come from.
Taoism has been known throughout history as “the other way” because it was originally created and practiced as an alternate to Confucianism. However, many followers of each religion follow both these philosophies. “Except for a few straight-laced Confucians and a few pious Taoists, the Chinese man or woman practiced both–either at different phases of life or as different sides of personality and taste.” Many people consider both Taoism and Confucianism to be philosophies instead of religions. Taoism originated as a philosophy centered on nature but over the centuries it developed a pantheon. Confucianism, on the other hand, has never been connected with a deity. Confucius himself never claimed to be a god and the few attempts that tried to exalt him as a deity of the “religion” failed miserably. Besides the fact that Confucianism does not have a pantheon, it also lacks a priesthood. For this reason many historians consider Confucianism to be merely a code of conduct. Despite these doubts, Taoism and Confucianism were two of the three main religions in China for years, along with Buddhism. The main difference between the two philosophies lies in their focus.
Confucianism focuses on rituals while Taoism focuses on nature. Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, the founders of Taoism, were convinced that a person’s inner spirit was their key to peace and harmony. They believed that through observing what was around them in nature they would come to understand themselves and other people. They believed in a life principle called the art of wu-wei. This principle advised that the best way to conduct oneself in life was through inaction. Taoists did not believe that government, laws, and war should be the guiding principles of life, but instead nature and harmony should be the focus. They believed that because nature was constant, and laws and government were not, that nature was a reliable source to look to for harmony. One of the reasons for the focus on the inner spirit in Taoism was the situation of the early leaders of the philosophy. Instead of learned sages, these men were everyday craftsmen: artists, woodcarvers, and butchers.
Because of their background, these men knew how to be creative and learn from other sources besides textbooks written by others who came before them. The religion itself centers on the indefinable source of life called the Dao, which means path or way. “It refers to a power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the Universe. It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)” A person can only achieve perfect happiness when he or she is in harmony with the Dao. Thus, a Taoist’s goal in life is to become one with the Dao. This is achieved through meditation, introspection, and wu-wei. The Dao is a force, not a deity, but Taoists believe that all the gods in the pantheon are manifestations of the one Dao. The Taoist’s good and evil is defined by the Dao. Anything that is in accord with the Dao is necessarily good, while anything against it is necessarily evil. K’ung Fu Tzu, more commonly known as Confucius, was born in 551 B.C. Although Confucius wrote many works concerning education, society, and government, he never meant to establish his own philosophy. He studied in order to revive an older religion from the Zhou Dynasty.
Opposite of Taoism, Confucius believed that rituals were the only way to a peaceful, moral society. “He saw these time-honored and traditional rituals as the basis of human civilization, and he felt that only a civilized society could have a stable, unified, and enduring social order.” Confucius believed that rituals were the key to maintaining a moral standard among humans. Confucianism resembles humanism in that it focuses on the principle that individuals control morality instead of a supernatural force or god. This, however, is only one side of Confucianism. Besides rituals, Confucius also valued the principle of Ren. “Ren keeps ritual forms from becoming hollow; a ritual performed with ren has not only form, but ethical content; it nurtures the inner character of the person, furthers his/her ethical maturation.” In other words, if the rituals were done merely for the sake of doing them, they would not be effective. The Yin Yang symbol has been used to represent many concepts throughout history, including both Confucianism and Taoism.
According to Taoism, the symbol represents the balance of opposites. Total harmony is achieved when the two forces are equal, while confusion exists when one outweighs the other. Traditionally the Yin, the dark side of the circle, represents anything cold, dark, or mysterious. The two spots represent the fact that there yin and yang are both present in everything on earth. Yet another representation of Yin Yang viewed yin as female and yang as male. Although normally associated with Taoism, the Ying Yang can symbolize both philosophies. In this case yin represents Taoism and yang represents Confucianism. Whether the founders of these religions look to rituals or wu-wei to bring peace to all men, they were all wrong. Because the world is full of sin, nothing short of the power of Christ can bring true peace. Jesus is the only way to salvation. In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Taoism Vs. Confucianism
Taoism and Confucianism are two major theories or rather philosophical systems which emerged in China, and later influenced many countries of East Asia. While, Confucianism is the ideology put forth by the Chinese thinker, Confucius, Taoism refers to a number of philosophical and traditional concepts.
When it comes to the mention of China and the Chinese, Bruce Lee is probably what most people relate to. The principles and wisdom of Taoism and Confucianism are a dominant part of China’s contribution to the philosophical treasure of the world.
‘Tao’ literally means ‘The Way’, which makes Taoism a path or a road. Of course it’s not that simple. The doctrine is riddled with many vague patches of both prose and poetry. It celebrates moderation much like Buddhism.Confucianism, on the other hand, concentrates heavily on social etiquette, rites and rituals, and establishing a virtuous government. It tells one about his or her moral duties towards society. Historically, Confucianism had its ups and downs. Taoism has more to do with self-development through the virtuous path than anything else.Due to the philosophy relying more on ethics than actual rules, corruption became rampant within the Government. The Mao era saw this and crushed Confucianism during its rising. It later resurfaced and is now recognized as a religion and a code of conduct alongside Taoism.
Taoism did use sensationalism to a certain point; it talked about the Divine being and founder Lao Tzu (also called Laozi), life after death, the return of Lao Tzu and adherence to the Way.While Taoism preaches about its non-creator deities, Confucianism professes about ‘God’s Way’ rather than God himself. The Gods and the Kings may be very important in the way of life and in the Government, but never as important as the people themselves. Principles
Taoism wants its followers to regularly visit its shrines to fulfill their roles within the religion. Taoism embraced Taoist Tai Chi, a form of physical exercise that involves slow and controlled body movements with a goal to achieve mental stillness.Confucianism also involves religious reverence but to different deities, particularly Confucius, his ancestors or the God of Heaven, Ti’en. As time passed, Neo Confucians practiced ‘Jing Zuo’, which is meditation through sitting quietly. Taoist rituals include a level of mysticism that involves shamanism, divination and street parades that include Taoists wearing honor guard costumes, worship of god-images and performers assumed to be possessed by spirits.Confucian followers are to practice their rites and rituals as a part of social improvement, the same rituals that their ancestors practiced.
Other Minor Differences
•Confucianism was initiated by a Confucius, a person known to have existed. Taoism is said to have been initiated by Lao Tzu, who may or may not exist. There is not enough proof over the matter, but that does not undermine the teachings of Taoism in any way. •Taoism had relatively more global reach than Confucianism. Also, Taoism had more shrines and monasteries. •Confucianism gave women a lesser importance in society than men. Taoism was more about the ‘self’ than the society, while also giving equal importance to bot the sexes. A Little More About Taoism and Confucianism
In keeping with Buzzle’s tradition of offering a little something extra to its readers, here is a brief section about some facts and insights into both Taoism and Confucianism. These would help you better understand exactly what aspects of beliefs, principles and traditions distinguish one from the other. An Insight Into Taoism
Taoist ethics underline compassion, moderation and humility, which are considered to be its three jewels. Taoism has been divided into philosophical, religious and folk Taoism, by Livia Kohn, an expert on Religion and East Asian studies. Philosophical Taoism is a school of thought which has its premise in the classical text Dao de Jing (or Tao Te Ching). Folk Taoism, on the other hand, is more people-oriented. It is the Chinese folk religion. Religious Taoism pertains to the Celestial masters movement during the reign of Han Dynasty. There are four principles of Taoism – Tao, De (te), Wu Wei and Pu.
Tao: In English, Tao means road, pathway, channel or doctrine. There are different opinions on Tao given by various experts. But it is mainly believed to be undefinable. It is also thought to be the source of existence and non-existence.
De (Te): It is an active expression of Tao. It is related to a complicated concept of ‘De’- power, virtue and integrity. De is the nurturing of the ‘Tao’- or the path. ‘De’ is inculcating the habit or imbibing the ‘Tao’.
Wu Wei: Wu Wei literally means without action. It is the central concept. Taoism does not consider man’s will to be the basic problem. In fact, it emphasizes that a human being’s will must be in harmony with the universe.
Pu: Pu relates to simplicity and is symbolic of the state of Wu Wei. It epitomizes the state of pure perception sans prejudice. It is supposed to be an inactive stage of receptiveness. An Insight Into Confucianism
Confucianism evolved and spread around the same time as Taoism. However, it has developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The fundamental premise of this ideology is the importance of education for the moral development of the individual for a better society. There are 7 themes of the Confucian thought which form the base of Confucianism. They are Ritual, Relationships, Filial Piety, Loyalty, Humanity, The Gentleman and Rectification of Names.
Ritual: In Confucianism, the everyday chores or activities are considered as ritual. The rituals should be molded in such a way that they promote and lead to a healthy society. Development of a healthy society through ritual is one of the main objectives of Confucianism.
Relationships: Confucianism believes that an individual’s duties arise in relation to one another. Social harmony is attained when everyone performs his or her duty well, in accordance with his or her social order. Social harmony is a major goal of Confucianism.
Filial Piety: Filial piety refers to the respect and rituals to be followed for your ancestors, elders and the dead.
Loyalty: It simply means performing your duties towards your friends, family,and spouse. It is considered to be one of the greatest human virtues in Confucianism.
Humanity: Confucianism holds that all men are born similar, it is the practice and study which influences a man’s nature. Humanity proposes that filial piety and ritual is the basic way to act towards others.
The Gentleman: According to this ideology, men should strive to become the ideal man or the perfect man by inculcating moral values, act with filial piety and loyalty where necessary, and nurture humanity and kindness in themselves.
Rectification of Names: Social disorder was believed to have emanated from the failure of understanding and perceiving reality. Calling names incorrectly invariably is the lack of perceiving the reality. Correct perception of reality would avoid social disorder.
Confucianism still has a lot of significance in some East Asian countries. It is to such an extent that the governments in a few of those countries have pondered over making it a state religion.
Both philosophies had several similarities. The biggest one being their teachings, a lot of which were taken from scriptures that already existed. Confucius himself admitted that what he taught wasn’t anything new. Despite that, both the schools helped gather the bits and form a complete way of life.