Confucianism is the system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct. Rather than a religion such as Christianity and Buddhism, Confucianism is more a philosophy of living.
A man by the name of Kung Fu Tzu (pronounced as Confucius in English) developed the way of thinking that is Confucianism. He was born in 551 B.C in Lu, China of a poor family. At age 15, he dedicated himself to studying with his heart set on politics. Although he didn't succeed in that area of expertise, he had great accomplishments as a teacher and philosopher. Confucius dedicated his life to preaching good moral conduct. He traveled through China and gave advice to different rulers in charge of different states. His teachings and writings dealt with one's morality and ethics, and the proper exercise of political power. While traveling, Confucius accumulated followers of his teachings. Confucius is said to be the most influential Chinese in the history of China.
Confucius' beliefs and practices are different than a religion. It is a philosophy of life. In religions such as Christianity and Buddhism, there is belief of the worship of God/gods, and the belief of life after death. On the other hand, Confucius has no such teachings. There is no church or clergy with the teachings of Confucius.
The beliefs of Confucianism are as follows: It views family as the basic unit of society, and all other relationships and responsibilities outside of family must be observed closely to preserve harmony. Confucius stated that society is made up of five relationships such as the relationship between husband and wife, of parent and child, of elders and youngsters, of ruler and subject and of friend and friend. He said that only when fathers were fathers, when sons were sons, rulers were rulers, and subjects were subjects were there a way or road of righteousness. It states that all men are naturally good. But perfection of goodness can be found in sages and saints. Confucius stressed that people should develop a good character first, which is a priceless jewel and which is the best of all virtues. It is believed that a way to please God or gods is through a code of good conduct with your family, neighbors and society, and if you are a good person, God is going to like you. The "Jen," which is the essence of all of Confucius' teachings, includes all the virtues needed to have social harmony and peace, such as benevolence, charity, magnanimity, sincerity, respectfulness, altruism, diligence, loving kindness, and goodness. Confucius' golden rule is, "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others." He also said that, "injuries done to you by an enemy should be returned with a combination of love and justice."
Four main practices are performed in one's life through Confucius' teachings in relation to...