Confucianism - Taoism - Buddhism


Lately I've been studying the philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism and it led me to write this post. The philosophy of Confucianism is based on ideas of morality, harmony and a well ordered society. Han Yu (essayist and poet) was an important figure in history when it came to Confucianism. Through his essays, he could reach out to the masses and his ideas were brilliant. He compares the ways of the Toaists and the Buddhists and corrects them on their downfalls. According to the Confucious ways, there are a couple of important concepts that bond the philosophy together. The first is jen which is perfect virtue and the love for all mankind. The second concept is i which stands for righteousness. Tao is the combination of jen and i combined. To be be individualistic without the need of relying on another is called te, which stands for virtue. 

We can assume that Taoists and Buddhists discard the relationship between ruler + ruled and father + son. In this assumption, we can assume that Taoism and Buddhism have no social structure or that they discard the idea of it. Han Yu points out that "Now the method [of the Toaists and Buddhists] is to insist on discarding the relationship between ruler and ministers, doing away with the relationship between father and son... in order to seek for what they call silence and annihilation" (WLT, Pg. 417). By denouncing the relationship between rulers and ministers, fathers and sons and the support of life, they often live a passive life, one that does not involve work. From this Han Yu foreshadows that without the roles that need to be filled in society, the king could lose his power and ultimately, his throne. 

Buddhism is Barbaric. "I humbly submit that Buddhism is but one of the religious systems obtaining among the barbarian tribes" (WLT, Pg. 419). Through the elimination of relationships between the rulers and the ruled, a society becomes uncivilized and develops into a barbaric one. This concept goes against the ways of Confucianism and if this was followed in today's society, a state of anarchy would arise. Anarchy is referred as a society without a publicly enforced government. Rulers in the past would translate to the government and law enforcement in today's society and without that affiliation, a lawless civilization would emanate. With that being said, some people consider certain teachings of Buddhism to form a philosophical ground with anarchism and that school of thought is called the Buddhist anarchism. This school of thought argues that the state and capitalistic regimes are the root of oppression and thus this theory follows a state of high entropy. 

Confucian wisdom has more low entropy (social solidarity) than Taoism and Buddhism. Entropy is the amount of order and chaos in society in a philosophical sense; the higher the entropy, the more chaos there is. A system of lawless and classless societies (Taoism + Buddhism) would contain higher entropy then one with social solidarity (Confucianism). "Now they take the ways of barbarism and elevate them above the teachings of our ancient kings. Does this not almost make all of us barbarians?" (WLT, Pg. 418).


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