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Confucian Solutions

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posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 05:43 AM
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Though we would like to keep church and state separate, there's no denying that the underlying beliefs of leadership will influence policy making. Also, the beliefs of citizens will often dictate success.

Christianity plays a prominent role in politics and society, as well as Judaism and Islam. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism seem to be picking up some steam in America as well.

Is it just me, or is Confucius neglected?
Stanford Encyclopedia: Confucius
Main Concepts of Confucianism


Confucius' political philosophy is also rooted in his belief that a ruler should learn self-discipline, should govern his subjects by his own example, and should treat them with love and concern. “If the people be led by laws, and uniformity among them be sought by punishments, they will try to escape punishment and have no sense of shame. If they are led by virtue, and uniformity sought among them through the practice of ritual propriety, they will possess a sense of shame and come to you of their own accord.” (Lunyu 2.3; see also 13.6.) It seems apparent that in his own day, however, advocates of more legalistic methods were winning a large following among the ruling elite. Thus Confucius' warning about the ill consequences of promulgating law codes should not be interpreted as an attempt to prevent their adoption but instead as his lament that his ideas about the moral suasion of the ruler were not proving popular.



Most troubling to Confucius was his perception that the political institutions of his day had completely broken down.


Confucius lived during a time of turmoil in China and sought to return to ideals from the past. Familiar?


Gallup Poll. Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2009. N=1,026 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 4.

"How much trust and confidence do you have in general in men and women in political life in this country who either hold or are running for public office: a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?"

8/31 - 9/2/09

Great deal- 5%
Fair amount- 44%
Not very much-42%
None at all- 8%
Unsure- 1%


Many people aren't trusting government. Our political system leans more in the legalistic model than ethical.

Repeat from previous excerpt:

“If the people be led by laws, and uniformity among them be sought by punishments, they will try to escape punishment and have no sense of shame. If they are led by virtue, and uniformity sought among them through the practice of ritual propriety, they will possess a sense of shame and come to you of their own accord.”


Would America have such a high incarceration rate if our leadership acted according to Confucian ideology?

We need leaders who will inspire people to act correctly on their own accord. This principle is called Te, the power of moral example. According to Confucius the art of government consists of being honarable.



A hallmark of Confucius' thought is his emphasis on education and study.


America could sure use that.The failure of American schools

ACT, the respected national organization that administers college-admissions tests, recently found that 76 percent of our high-school graduates “were not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses.”



It is often perceived that East-Asian students (e. g .,Chinese and Japanese students) perform better in English speaking countries like the United States and New Zealand than other ethnic groups. The most recent figures in New Zealand (Ross, 1995; Shelton, 1995) have suggested that 38. l% of Asian school leavers in 1994 gained university bursary, as compared with 23% of their Pakeha (a) counterparts, 4.4% of Maori and 5.2% of Pacific Islanders, giving a national average of 19%. The purpose of this study is to seek to determine why East-Asian students have a higher rate of academic achievement than any other ethnic group in New Zealand, in spite of the fact that they face language difficulties and cultural differences. There are two broad explanations which have been canvassed in the literature.

These are:

1. East-Asian culture, particularly the Confucian ideology of education, may have played an influential role in motivating people to be committed to educational achievement.

2 . East-Asian students' achievement in education may be influenced by their genetic intelligence.

I will attempt to show that culture is the key, since I believe that no racial group is genetically more intelligent than another
Why do Asians do better in school?


So, there's Confucius on government and education. What other problems do we have?


If we temporarily set aside the 2008 global financial crisis and its immediate effects, markers of this society’s deterioration have been with us for some time. The overall context for child and adult development, good health, learning, and economic sustenance is in trouble. In this brief article, I focus on indicators of decline in educational achievement, societal markers of deterioration, and the degradation of the family as the child’s bedrock for growth and development.
Article on American Society

Ah, "the degradation of the family as the child's bedrock for growth."


Li (lee): principle of gain, benefit, order, propriety; concrete guide to human action.



The Five Relationships: the way things should be done in social life; none of the relationships are transitive. (Note that 3 of the 5 relations involve family; the family is the basic unit of society). (a) father and son (loving / reverential) (b) elder brother and younger brother (gentle / respectful) (c) husband and wife (good / listening) (d) older friend and younger friend (considerate / deferential) (e) ruler and subject (benevolent / loyal)


Do we have a general attitude problem of selfishness?


4. Second Sense of li: principle of social order; ritual; ordering of life; conforming to the norms of jen (the limits and authenticity of li). a. Every action affects someone else--there are limits to individuality.


The word jen is used there, which is the principle of compassion similar to teaching of Buddha.


The beginnings of jen are found in hsiao (family life). a. Once the reverence and respect is understood for parent, hsiao can be extended by generalization to family, friends, society, and mankind.


Some other main components of Confucianism are


Yi (yee); righteousness; the moral disposition to do good (also a necessary condition for jen or for the superior man).



Hsiao (showe): filial piety; reverence



E. Chih (chee): moral wisdom; the source of this virtue is knowledge of right and wrong. Chih is added to Confucianism by Mencius (muhn shoos) who believed that people are basically born good.



F. Chun-tzu (choon dzuh): the ideal man; the superior man; gentle person in the most significant sense.


I'm not proposing that Confucianism is superior to Christianity. I'm saying it gets overlooked, big time. Maybe because any Chinese thought is paired with communism. Confucianism provides ideas on nearly every aspect of society.




posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 05:12 PM
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Confucius was unique as a guru in giving wisdom on politics, government, and society, as well as recognizing Heaven. His occupations were in government and education.



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