Confucianism: Morality and Confucius

Topics: Morality, Religion, Confucianism Pages: 4 (1362 words) Published: June 8, 2013
Explain Confucius’s diagnosis of the problem(s) of human nature. What is his prescription? Do you think it’s a good one? If you agree, explain why?

After studying the Confucius theory of human nature, my outlook and view on many things have either been changed or at least question. I am left to wonder how being born into this belief system may impact an individual views of themselves, and the world around them. Overall Confucianism is a very practical belief system. Confucius seemed very optimistic about humans, in that the species could be improved if they trusted his knowledge. He offered explanations for the problems in the world, all of the unjust burdens and the suffering. Confucius answered these questions by diagnosing five flaws he observed in human beings, followed by guidelines , on how to overcome these imperfections; Every human fault ultimately comes down to the fact that each human is out of the Decree of Heaven. In turn, diagnoses for these faults, mainly are to be more in line with the Decree of Heaven. This concept, the Decree of Heaven, is essentially the moral compass in which each human should follow. Let us explore the five diagnoses followed by their prescriptions. Firstly, Confucius explains humans are flawed in that they are selfish. Every individual is continually looking to benefit themselves. Our actions most often are driven by greed, and we are transfixed on personal growth a lot of times without considering others around us. This selfishness is what causes much of the social disharmony in societies. In order to cease this instinct, Confucius requests his listeners to obey the: “Do something for nothing” principle. In other words, we must make our choices based on what is morally right, and not for any other reason. At the same time Confucius teaches, not to do what is right if you’re only looking to be rewarded and recognized, for that would, again, be just for one’s own self-interest. Once all selfish intents are let go, doing...
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