Furthermore, Confucius lived in an era where the political frenzy in the government left society corrupt. Confucius believed that chaos and disorder were caused by the mistreatment and abuse of propriety. “The time was one of political dissolution in which the unity of the Chou dynasty was eroded and small state conflict was dominant” (Arnold, Confucius, and Confucianism). He ventured a life-long practice to restore the value of customs and to broadcast the rules of morality. In order to do so, one must set out to restore the community in which they live in and educate themselves to be a better human being.
Confucius is shown using his method as he began his career as a teacher in his 20’s. His teachings included history, poetry, divination, government, ethics, and music. From then on out, he became one of the greatest teachers of history. Later on in his career, he sought to be in public office. He started as a chief justice of the town of Chung-Tu. At the age of fifty, he worked as the post assistant administrator of public works and next transitioning as the Minster of Crime in Lu. After being forced to retire, due to jealousy, for the next twelve to thirteen years he sought after a new position with his faithful disciples by his side. Eventually, he found a new position and worked as an advisor for the Duke of Ai. By the age of seventy-three, Confucius had died, but his teachings had spread throughout East Asia and Chinese culture.
To continue, the value of education plays a very important role in the philosophy of Confucianism. A man who educates themselves severs as a better contribution to society, therefore ties into the fact that one can better the community and prosper in self-development. Education aids as a key to self-development to eventually become a better civil servant to society. When a society is uneducated, the fundamental quality of peoples spirits and mood breaks down. Thus concludes with people becoming full of hate, uncaring, disrespectful and chaos can spread like a disease throughout the community.
System of Social and Ethical Philosophy
Confucianism is categorized as a system of social and ethical philosophy. Confucius stray away from this philosophy being named a religion. He doesn’t refer to gods of any kind, or the concept of Heaven or Hell, nor the idea of reincarnation, compared to other religions. Nonetheless, Confucius was careful to instruct his students to never neglect or disrespect the offering due in heaven, and the Gods of other religions. Although he did not believe in them, he still gave them the utmost respect. Confucius focuses more on the changing of oneself by self-development, and from that, can improve the world in a better way. The goal of this philosophy is to alter into a better human, seeking harmony with nature, and involves cultivating a sense of ritual and becoming an educated man.
Moreover, Confucianism has two virtues which can benefit from becoming the ultimate goal of Confucian: the superior man. Confucianism has a set of virtues one must follow Li and Jen. Li is described as social respectability and is the greatest principle of living. Li may also be specified as the middle way in all things. If and when a community lives by Li it runs easily and will prosper into a better community, filled with the better education system, a lower poverty and crime rate, and a stable and trustworthy government. Li is also demonstrated by the Five Relationships: magnanimity in our rulers, devotion in ministers and subjects, compassionate consideration in our elders, benevolence for our fathers, moral behavior in the husband, submission in the wife, courtesy of the eldest brother, respect in the younger, and admiration in juniors and loving goodness in the son.
Some examples of Li would be using proper manners at a meal, having a certain respect for those who are older than you, and greeting someone in higher power with a bow. Jen is defined as altruism or Shu. This is helping others for merely the fact that you are helping and not to gain anything for ourselves. Jen is involving empathy, conscientiousness, selflessness. An example of Jen is living life with human-heartedness doing nice things out of the goodness of your heart rather than expecting something in return.