Confucianism is not considered as a religion but it is an ideology, religious philosophy, a set of values, rules to live life by. It was developed in China in the 6th century and it was propagated by Master Kong who was given the name Confucius by the Jesuit Missionaries. Confucius lived from 551 BC to 479 BC and after Confucius, Mencius was considered the best philosopher of Confucianism. The fundamental principles of Confucianism were already laid down before Confucius during the Zhou Dynasty. Confucius said “Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself”, this was the Golden rule. He is also considered a deity in Daoism.
The five constants of Confucianism are:
The four classical Sìzì are:
Some of the social ethics in Confucianism:
- Ren: Humaneness: It is the virtue that depicts the happiness human beings experience when they help each other. A man must act according to the Confucius defined Ren as wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others.”
- Li: Rite and Centering: Li is the interaction between humans, humanity, and nature. LI does not mean a particular thing; it is more of an idea rather an object.
- Loyalty: Loyalty was particularly for the social class because without loyalty one cannot enter into the civil services.
- Filial Piety: IN Confucianism, filial piety is the respect one needs to have towards one’s elders and ancestors. One should be good towards their parents and also should be good to others so that it brings a good name to their parents.
- Relationships: One has to respect all his social and personal relationships. The 5 main relations described in Confucianism are, ruler and the ruled, husband and wife, father and son, elder brother and younger brother, friend to friend. All these relationships had one superior person and the other inferior, the ruler, the husband, the father, and the elder brother were the superior ones and the others had to obey them and respect them. Only, in the friend-to-friend relation, mutual and equal respect was expected.
Women in Confucianism:
Ideal women were described as silent, obedient to their husbands, and hard-working women. Women were thought of as the smaller person in the husband-wife relationship. They were expected to keep away from matters outside of their households. They were expected to be obedient to their father before her marriage, to her husband after marriage, and if widowed she should respect her first son. Although, as education was given emphasis so many women took advantage of this idea to get educated and invent their thoughts.
The Confucian intellectual king released a manifesto in 2003 suggesting that Confucianism should be the official religion of the State and that Confucian education should be included in the official education curriculum. The Muslim Warlord, Ma Fuxiang still believes and continues to be influenced by Confucianism.