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The Basic Principles of Confucianism Essay Example

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The Basic Principles of Confucianism

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Confucianism is a philosophy, a religion and a way of life that is prevalent in East Asia, one that was pioneered and propagated by Confucius between the 5th and 6th centuries. It is an all-inclusive form of humanism, with roots in China but it has since spread to the entire East Asian region including Japan, Vietnam, and Korea. As a way of life, this philosophy has had a profound effect on religion and the political life within this region and although most people will identify with one particular religion, their individual ideologies are tied to Confucianism. The philosophy touches on basic principles of life, most of which are relevant to general living and leadership, aimed at improving human life generally. Some of the basic concepts in Confucianism include:
Jen: The concept of humanity
This concept is regarded as the highest in the Confucian hierarchy and the people that are defined by the principle tend to be humane and benevolent in nature. Jen is defined by deep empathy towards other people and according to Confucius, all human being have the predisposition to act in a humane and caring manner (Youn 39). He reinforced the psychological assumption that human beings are generally good and can, therefore, operate in a manner that expresses concern, whether they are elite or not.
However, Confucius also admits to the fact that the principle of Jen can be compromised in a state where proponents are poorly developed and too illiterate. Such groups are often harsh, undisciplined and uncaring, traits that stir strive and chaos at every level of human existence. The cultivation of this principle as construed by Confucius leads to the emergence of a superior human being that is perfect in all aspects (Youn 40). These people are identified as Junzi and although they may make some mistakes, their intentions are always pure and besides, the people are ever disciplined and defined by traits that reflect their moral character.

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preview essay on The Basic Principles of Confucianism
  • Pages: 5 (1250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Religion and Theology
  • Level: College
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