Confucianism (analects)

Analect of Goodness Analect of Goodness Religious studies reveal that china adhered to Confucianism in the 6th century. This religious group had its basis on the teachings and texts of Master Kong, who held the title of ‘ Confucius’. He exhibited philosophical knowledge concerning life and governance. He sought to establish a way of life that exhibited a high morality level in his efforts to bring about a restoration of the moral code that a preceding leader Zhou had established. This master did not regard himself as an individual possessing a higher level of intelligence. However, he expressed his commitment to adhere to a past moral code that he admired. He became an ardent teacher of sayings that defined Confucianism. Although none of the primary inscription of the master has existed until today, his followers compiled some of his sayings, and such compilations have been preserved. This paper will consider one of those sayings that have been accorded the name ‘ Analects’. These Analects had their basis on the Chinese culture. Kong constructed moral principles that supported the values and virtues that the Chinese culture had emphasized. Master Kong believed that human beings had the potential of making themselves better, people who adhered to a higher set of moral values. One of the moral principles that he set out was coded as 4. 3 and stated that ‘ only one who is good can be able to truly love others or despise others’ (Confucius & Slingerland, 2006). This utterance of the master emphasized on the significance of ‘ goodness’. Master Kong made reference to three critical terms namely ‘ li’, ‘ ren’, and ‘ de’. The word ‘ de’ denoted power, while ‘ li’ denoted tradition. Ren referred to goodness. Since this principle had a philosophical basis, deciphering its meaning was very critical to its application (Yu, 2009). Philosopher Kong sought to emphasize on the significance of acquiring the value of goodness. The context appears to be very broad, and includes numerous virtues that would qualify an individual as good (Nagai-Berthrong, 2005). Kong was well aware of the virtues that the Chinese culture had advocated for, and he admonished the people to adopt such virtues, as that would foster their becoming ‘ good’. Moreover, philosopher Kong tied up the idea of being good to tradition (Kong, & Slingerland, 2003). Observers of the Chinese tradition qualified themselves as good people. Kong highlighted tradition in this context because he wanted to revive the Chinese tradition defined by Zhou in previous times. In his reflection of the old times when the Chinese society adhered to The Zhou moral code, he realized that society was better (Gardner, & Confucius, 2003). Therefore, he urged his followers to strive towards achieving the goodness that existed. Apparently, being good presents the benefit of ‘ de’ which translates to power. When an individual is good, he or she possesses the capacity to use the freedom of choice wisely. A virtuous person has the capacity to choose between attributes that are good and those regarded as bad. Evidently, philosopher Kong implied that being good would elevate an individual to a different level (Selover, & Wei-ming, 2005). At this different level, the individual has access to exercising power contrary to people who lack any goodness. Since being good presents this unique prospect to an individual, Master Kong had all the reasons to urge society to acquire qualities that can make them good. As Kong the master of Confucianism highlighted, only those who are good stand in the position of being able to love others or despise them. The commentary provided by many authors about this shows that only good people can play the role of judging impartially. As described, a good person exhibits the capacity to use perceptive powers in distinctly differentiating between good and bad (Confucius, Taylor, & Legge, 2011). Exercising such potential of choosing between good and bad can present an individual with the capacity to identify positive attributes in an individual. Moreover, a good person can identify despicable attributes exhibited by others. Good people have the privilege of playing the role of moral judges representing the ‘ de’ that Kong mentioned. They understand societal moral standards and can make impartial judgments about others in society. Being good enables an individual to overcome the barriers that often lead to partial judgements. For example, a good person can overcome the compelling spirit of jealousy and admire the positive attributes in other people. Such admiration may prompt a good person to love people who exhibit positive attributes (Confucius, & Legge, 2009). Through their power and ability to make impartial judgments, good people can identify the negative traits in others and despise them. Since bad people do not possess the power of making impartial judgments, they cannot love or despise others. As described above, philosopher Kong exhibited philosophical knowledge concerning life and governance. He sought to establish a way of life that exhibited a high morality level in his efforts to bring about a restoration of the moral code that a preceding leader Zhou had established. One of the Analects that he constructed emphasized on the value of being good. According to him, being good comes with the privilege of being able to love or despise others in society. References Confucius & Slingerland, E. G. (2006). The essential analects: Selected passages with traditional commentary. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co. Confucius. & Legge, J. (2009). The Confucian analects, the great learning, & The doctrine of the mean. New York: Cosimo Classics. Confucius. Taylor, R. L., & Legge, J. (2011). Confucius, the analects: The path of the sage : selections annotated & explained. Woodstock, Vt: SkyLight Paths Pub. Gardner, D. K., & Confucius, . (2003). Zhu Xi’s Reading of the Analects: Canon, commentary, and the classical tradition. New York: Columbia University Press. Kong, Q., & Slingerland, E. G. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditonal commentaries. Indianapolis, IN [u. a.: Hackett. Nagai-Berthrong, E. (2005). What would Confucius do?: Wisdom and advice on achieving success and getting along with others. New York: Marlowe. Selover, T. W., & Wei-ming, T. (2005). Hsieh Liang-tso and the Analects of Confucius: Humane Learning as a Religious Quest. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Yu, D. (2009). Confucius from the heart: Ancient wisdom for today’s world. Sydney: Pan Macmillan.