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Ch. 2 - Confucianism: The Way of the Sages 
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Post Ch. 2 - Confucianism: The Way of the Sages
Ch. 2 - Confucianism: The Way of the Sages

Please use this thread for discussing Chapter 2.



Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:04 am
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One thing that becomes clear is that "on paper", a theory may look either good or not, but in its practice the picture may be quite different. That might be a reason not to make too much of our judgments of a particular theory. Confucianism, for example, seems reasonable and admirably free of metaphysical claims, yet the authors note that it depends on the authority of sages who lived many centuries ago, making it a conservative system. If you are born into the lower classes, for example, it is useless to think you could change your station. So the absence of claims that can't be tested might not by itself be a point in favor of a system.

To the extent that Cism makes a metaphysical claim, it is that human morality is built into the universe. It is not humans who have arrived at morality, but the "decree of heaven" that has established it. This decree contains only a vague reference to a higher power, but it does place human morality on a plane above us.

Those who look for spiritual content in their belief systems would be disappointed in Cism. It is a practical system based on maintaining the social order. It is therefore somewhat narrow; it excludes not only women but the rest of nature as well.



Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:20 am
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The mandate of heaven theory of dynastic change brings nature into Confucianism. In classical Chinese thought, the Emperor must retain the mandate of heaven in order to retain power. The concept of heaven is intrinsically linked to nature, for example in the I Ching. Confucian thought sat alongside Taoism and Buddhism. Together these three traditions helped to integrate theories of nature and the state in China.



Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:11 am
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Well, at one time women weren't even allowed to study with the monks who practiced these philosophies (faiths?).

But a 'cism' being a 'metaphysical' thing?

Do you mean that calling something a 'cism' means it's considered to be 'supernatural'?

I didn't really understand that completely.



Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:50 am
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WildCityWoman wrote:
Well, at one time women weren't even allowed to study with the monks who practiced these philosophies (faiths?). But a 'cism' being a 'metaphysical' thing? Do you mean that calling something a 'cism' means it's considered to be 'supernatural'? I didn't really understand that completely.


WCW, What DWill said was about Confucianism shortened to Cism. "To the extent that Cism makes a metaphysical claim, it is that human morality is built into the universe." This illustrates how eastern thought is grounded in a real connection between nature and spirit, whereas Western thought is grounded in their separation. Your comment about the supernatural is interesting as it assumes that metaphysics is instrinsically supernatural, whereas for eastern though this is not so. This separation is at the heart of the fall.



Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:24 am
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Ahhhhhhhh! I see . . .



Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Post Confucianism: The Way of the Sages
Confuscius (551-479 B.C.)

aka - Great Master K'ung or K'ung Fu-tzu.

Just like Siddartha, he traveled around offering his insights to people who wanted the 'truth', wanted to know how they oughta' live.

Nobody gave him a position where he could put his ideas into practice, so he returned to Lu and devoted his life to teaching.

Lun Yu - in English, The Analects . . .

This is a collection of his sayings, put together by his disciples. It is the most reliable source of his ideas.

The scholars debate whether all of this are the actual words of Confucius - some of it was written later.

Well, that applies to just about everything, I guess - the words of the Buddha were written, but it was only done by people as they re-told the Buddha's stories and advice.

Most everything was just passed on to groups of people who sat at the feet of these guru's and took in their words.



Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:55 pm
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Theory of the Universe

Confucious concerned himself with teaching about life, not spiritual life.

Confucious recognized that there are forces in the universe that determine our lives.

To him, ethics and morality were very important. He figured somebody could rule as long as they went by the ways of heaven - once he stopped paying attention to what 'heaven' would want, he'd start failing.


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Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:00 pm
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Post Confuscious on Theory of Human Nature
Confuscious didn't have all that much to say on this topic, other than his view that all humans are more or less born alike.

All people are born with the potential of being good, kind and wise sages. Few, however, actually become sages.

He said he 'didn't know any'.

This is because our lives lead us on different paths and few paths actually encourage us to bring these qualities out.

There will be more on this, in this section.



Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:45 am
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