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Confucius: Obtaining Ideal Society Essay

1549 words - 7 pages

Obtaining Ideal Society
Confucius' moral philosophy is centered around the idea of humaneness and goodness throughout society. How does one create and construct an ideal society without recourse or help from the supernatural? “Rather than attributing events to supernatural forces and establishing moral guidance according to the will of spiritual beings, Chinese philosophers began to focus on human actions and to give increasing importance to the Way that can make man great.” (Giancola & Gregory 187). Confucius started the idea that we as human beings merely need to consider each other in our decisions and act with respect. These fundamental virtues are all it takes to achieve an ideal ...view middle of the document...

“The Master said: 'Is humaneness really so far away? If we ourselves wanted humaneness, then humaneness would arrive'...” (Giancola & Gregory 190). This is the sad but ultimately true fact about an ideal society. If the people could come together and understand the incredible possibilities with unconditional compassion than this society would transform in a matter of days. I believe it is more that people don't realize how simple it would be, acting rational, compassionate, and good rather than people being unwilling to act in these ways. “The Master said: 'If one sets one's heart on humaneness, one will be without evil'...” (Giancola & Gregory 189).
“Zigong asked: 'Is there a single word such that one could practise it throughout one's life?' The Master said: 'Reciprocity perhaps? Do not inflict on others what you yourself would not wish done to you'...” (Giancola & Gregory 191). Reciprocity in the terms of Confucius really is The Golden Rule. The first lesson learned by myself and probably a majority of other people in the world. Don't do something to someone that you would not like done to you. Reciprocity naturally guides those that follow it towards humaneness. Why would one ever hurt, belittle, or negatively affect another human if that person follows The Golden Rule? They simply would not. Reciprocity present in a society would be another huge step towards idealism. Those in this society would always be conscious of their actions towards others and never have to feel insecure or worried by another person's actions towards them. The society would be one of helpfulness and constant consideration of others. “If you are dutiful towards your parents and kind to your children, then they will be loyal. If you promote the good and instruct the incompetent, then they will be encouraged...” (Giancola & Gregory 189). Reciprocity would naturally spread like fire, promoting goodness and instructing those ignorant to its way would be successful in any case. What negative aspect is there of following this rule? If a society entirely lived this way, the people would never have to feel threatened again. These benefits from reciprocity can be obtained by communicating and practicing with each other. No supernatural being has to promise salvation or judge our actions, we just need to act humane and follow The Golden Rule.
“Zizhang asked Master Kong: 'What sort of person must one be so that one may take part in government?' 'If one honours the five excellences and puts away the four abominations, one may take part in government', said the Master.” (Giancola & Gregory 191). The last key foundational aspect of an ideal society is of course its government. All over the world we see governments struggle with corruption and deceit. These are the last things that we should be seeing from a body that strives to look out for its people and country. The first excellence: Man is not wasteful although he is bounteous. This means that you are not...

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