Chinese Belief Systems:

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Chinese Belief Systems:. Confucianism Legalism Daoism Buddhism. Confucianism. Confucius. Born: 551 – Died: 479 B.C.E. He became a teacher; founder of Confucianism Lead by example Live a productive life with good moral values. Show respect for fellow humans. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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• Born: 551 – Died: 479 B.C.E.

• He became a teacher; founder of Confucianism

• Lead by example

• Live a productive life with good moral values.

• Show respect for fellow humans.

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Li --> Rite, rules, ritual modesty)

Ren --> kindness, humanity, compassion

Shu --> Mutual benefit, empathy

Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you.

Yi --> Righteousness

Xiao --> Family Faithfulness (Respect your elders!)

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* Confucius' main interest was to figure out ways for the government to do a better job of taking care of the people.

* He was born in 551 BC ; his parents were poor, although his family had once been rich. They had gotten into trouble with the emperor, and he had taken away their money and their land.

*Confucius, was a smart and hard-working child, and when he grew up, he was fair, and polite, and loved to learn things, and so his family sent him to the big city, to Zhou, where the Chou emperor lived, to go to school. While he was in Zhou, Confucius studied under Lao Zu, who was later on the creator of the philosophy of Daoism.

*Confucius spent the rest of his life travelling from town to town around China with his students and friends, giving advice to different rulers wherever he went. Often they didn't like his advice: once he was thrown in jail for five days! When he was 67, Confucius went back to Lu and settled down there, and he died there when he was 72 years old.

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* The single most important Confucian work.

* In Chinese, it means “conversation.”

* Focus on facts of personal relationships and the relationship of the role of rulers and ministers to the conduct of government.

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* Knowing what he knows and knowing what he doesn’t know, is characteristics of the person who knows.

* Making a mistake and not correcting it, is making another mistake.

* The superior man blames himself; the inferior man blames others.

* To go too far is as wrong as to fall short.

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• Born: 280 – Died: 233

• Han FeiZi is a book named after himself.

• He believed that people are naturally bad.

• Legalism became the political philosophy of the Qin Dynasty.

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1. Human nature is naturally selfish or “bad”.

2. Intellectualism and literacy is discouraged.

3. Law is the supreme authority and replaces morality.

4. The ruler must rule with a strong, punishing hand.

5. War is the means of strengthening a ruler’s power.

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One who favors the principle that individuals should obey a powerful authority rather than exercise individual freedom.

The ruler, therefore, “cracks his whip” on the backs of his subjects!

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* He was Born in 604 B.C.

* His name means “Old Master”

*He believed that the way to happiness was for people to learn to "go with the flow.“

* He also believed that you should live in harmony with nature, creating a balance – Yin/Yang

*The teachings of Lao Tzu were recorded in writings called the Dao De Jing

*Lao Tzu taught that a force known as the Dao filled all living things. He instructed his followers to reject the world and their desires for worldly possessions and power, and commune with nature, bringing oneself into a state of oneness with the Dao

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* The basic text of Daoism.

* In Chinese, it means The Classic in the Way and Its Power.

* “Those who speak know nothing: Those who know are silent.” ~Lao Tzu

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1. Dao is a force that flows through all life.

2. A believer’s goal is to become one with Dao; one with nature.

3. Daoism-Is a philosophy, not a religion. If you look at life and think about things in the right way, you will be happy.

4. Man is unhappy because he lives according to man-made laws, customs, & traditions that are contrary to the ways of nature.

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1. Understanding that the force of nature rules an individual, not a government.

2. Relying on the senses and instincts.

3. Discovering the nature and “rhythm” of the universe.

4. Ignoring political and social laws.

To escape the social, political, & cultural traps of life, you must free yourself by finding “the way”

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* Masculine

* Active

* Light

* Warmth

* Strong

* Heaven; Sun

* Feminine

* Passive

* Darkness

* Cold

* Weak

* Earth; Moon

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Confucianism --> Moral order in society.

Legalism --> Rule by harsh law & punishment.

Daoism --> Freedom for individuals and less government to avoid uniformity and conformity.

Buddhism-->To get good karma and reach Nirvana

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• Prince Gautama (Buddha) was born about 553 BCE. He had parents who loved him, many servants to wait on him, the finest clothes, and a different palace for each season of the year. Yet, he found his world full of suffering. It upset him that painful old age, sickness, and death were all part of life in this world In 500 B.C., the idea of reincarnation became very strong among the Hindu people who believed that after you died, you would be reborn in another form, and then reborn again, and again, forever.

• One day, he met a monk. He was amazed that this monk could find calm and peace in a world filled with such sufferings. That day he made a very difficult decision. He decided to leave his wealth, his comfort, his wife, and his newborn son, to become a monk

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• For the next six years he traveled throughout India. But the answers he found were not enough. One day, while sitting under a fig tree, an understanding came to him.

• This understanding was a way to end suffering. That was the day Prince Siddhartha Gautama began to earn a new title, the Buddha, which means "Awakened One". 

• His journey to find the meaning of life had concluded. The Buddha realized that life is ruled by Eightfold Path. If you follow these “Laws” you will find Enlightenment and reach Nirvana.

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Key Principals

• Life a good moral life to get good “karma” which will eventually help you reach Nirvana.

• Meditation will lead you to enlightenment.

• Stay on the Middle Path—follow the eight basic laws

• Belief in Reincarnation—rebirth of the soul

Eight Basic laws

• To know the truth

• To intend to resist evil

• To not say anything to hurt others

• To respect life, property, and morality

• To work at a job that does not injure others

• To try to free one's mind from evil

• To be in control of one's feelings and thoughts

• To practice appropriate forms of concentration

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• Today, Buddhism is a major world religion. There are over 300 million Buddhists in the world

• Buddhists everywhere live by Buddha's teachings, which were written down as proverbs, written in about 100 BCE (Over 2000 years ago!)

• The Buddhist Sutras are books of these different Proverbs or sayings that the Buddhist live by--Like a bible or a manual. Two examples are below:

• As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, even so the wise are not ruffled by praise or blame.

• Hatreds never cease by hatred in this world; by love alone they cease.