Confucianism formed the basis for the social order in China since 200 BC. It
provided the working rules and ethical precepts for Chinese to follow. Even
today majority of Chinese still behave according to these rules.
Confucianism views individual as a social creature obligated to each other
through relationships. These may include the relations between sovereign and
subject, parent and child, elder and younger, husband and wife, or even friend
and friend. Confucianism defined the rules in the engagement, action, and
responsibilities in all these human relationships and interactions. Proper
conduct proceeds not through compulsion, but through a sense of virtue and
self-consciousness achieved by learning, observing and practicing.
Confucianism has a lot of similarities with socialism today. Both promote
collective interests and community welfare. Both emphasize the educational or
remolding process in serving the common good of the society. These concepts may
be quite different from the West that every individual is a completely
independent entity. Individual freedom is well above the social order and
Confucius is one of the greatest educators. He insisted that in education
there should be no class distinctions. He established an education system for
training in administrative and diplomatic arts. The system was later adapted as
a central government examination system in selecting senior officers. For years,
all students and scholars alike worked very hard for the annual examination in
the hope that they might become senior officers in the government.
There are still many temples in memory of Confucius in China and South Asian
countries. Some of these places consist of a series of courtyards, surrounded by
buildings in beautiful Chinese style. Visitors can study many Confucian
documents and works kept there.
Confucianism is not a religion. Warship of Confucianism can be seen in some
of the temples but mainly as a form of memory and respect towards the scholar.
Confucianism has no clergy leadership and it does not promote the believing in
god or gods. The Confucian temples in China today are treated as historical
rather than religious sites, and one seldom, if ever, finds worshipers there.
Confucianism is viewed as a moral teaching and ethical humanism rather than as a
about to place a great responsibilities on a person, always wears
out his sinews and bones with toil, exposes his body to starvation,
subjects him to extreme poverty, frustrates his efforts so as to
stimulate his mind, toughen his nature and make good of his
People for the most part can mend their ways only when they made
mistake. People can stand up anew only when they are frustrated in
mind and in their deliberations. People can be understood by others
only when their intentions become visible on their countenances and
audible in their voices.
A state, without law-abiding families and trustworthy gentlemen,
without knowing the threat of external aggression, will perish.
People will then realize that anxiety and distress in life will
lead to the lasting comfort in death"