The text starts off by pointing out that the primary goal of Confucianism is the development of the excellent man. One of the main beliefs that are held by the followers of this religion is that as a result of the sovereign having already established in himself the highest pattern and degree of excellence, the sovereign is thus able to successfully concentrate in his own person the five sources of true happiness. Having done so, he then proceeds to diffuse them and grant them to the multitude. Some of the central teachings of Confucianism include Ren, Xiao, Li, Shu, ancestral worship, Ching Ming and enlightenment through education. The teachings of Confucianism can all be summarized by pointing out that it is possible for an individual to become an excellent man through education. I found learning about Confucianism to very interesting and especially so its emphasis on the development of the excellent man through education. The concept of Li was especially interesting to me as a result of its emphasis on right behavior and decorum. I believe that if I take time to study some of the main teachings of this religion with a particular emphasis on Li, I will eventually be able to become a better person. According to the text, Taoism was started by Lao Tzu who was born in 604 B.C.E. Interestingly Taoists believe that Lao Tzu was conceived by a shooting star and he was already and eighty-two years old and the wise man at the time that he was given birth. He is also typically referred to as old master in the Taoist religion. Tzu at first worked as a government archivist before he eventually becomes highly disenfranchised with the rampant corruption in the government. Tzu wrote down his words of wisdom, the Tao Te Ching in three days before he left his town. Reading about Taoist principles, I was struck by the fact that the religion regards moral values as being relative and as such it tries to avoid the making of an absolute moral judgment.
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