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Taoism vs Confucianism


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After 3 votes and with 17 points ahead, the winner is...

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I will be arguing for Taoism, and my opponent will be arguing for Confucianism. Both will be arguing which school of thought is more beneficial to humanity in general.

Round 1
1. Taoism focuses more on individuals rather than the whole of humanity, in which no one HAS to serve good to humanity. I know Confucianism encourages it and doesn't force, but Taoism doesn't force at all, it is your choice to do it or not, while Confucianism is like "Do good to humanity, do good to yourself!" Confucianism at some point just sounds like propaganda at its strange parts. 

2. Taoism inspired Confucianism and even Buddhism.

3. Taoism holds general positions on life, while Confucianism holds traditional views that will be outdated, such as that women are inferior, and that children are to obey adults even it means they will be submissive to whatever their parents need. 
user2006 wrote
1. Taoism focuses more on individuals rather than the whole of humanity, in which no one HAS to serve good to humanity. I know Confucianism encourages it and doesn't force, but Taoism doesn't force at all, it is your choice to do it or not, while Confucianism is like "Do good to humanity, do good to yourself!" Confucianism at some point just sounds like propaganda at its strange parts. 

First i will begin explaining what i consider "better" about confucianism.

Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life
Now the first thing i like about Confucianism, is that it is a philosophy based upon rationalism.

And when a confucian writes about events, or analyses history, a confician attempts to leave his religious beliefs at home, and records those events accurately, and sticks to what can be proven, at face value.

Confucius considered himself a recodifier and retransmitter of the theology and values inherited from the Shang (c. 1600–1046 BCE) and Zhou dynasties (c. 1046–256 BCE) for the Warring States period.
Historical works, that recorded the "warring states period" and even pre-dated the "old testament" were written by more contemporary scholars, than religious scholars, and the "Zuo Zhuan" is thought to be a contemporary recording of the "warring states period".

The Zuo Zhuan generally translated The Zuo Tradition or The Commentary of Zuo, is an ancient Chinese narrative history that is traditionally regarded as a commentary on the ancient Chinese chronicle Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu 春秋). It comprises 30 chapters covering a period from 722 to 468 BC, and focuses mainly on political, diplomatic, and military affairs from that era. The Zuo zhuan is famous for its "relentlessly realistic" style, and recounts many tense and dramatic episodes, such as battles and fights, royal assassinations and murder of concubines, deception and intrigue, excesses, citizens' oppression and insurgences, and appearances of ghosts and cosmic portents

user2006 wrote....
2. Taoism inspired Confucianism and even Buddhism. 

Saying that Taoism inspired confucianism, is just another was of saying that Taoists mostly ditched their religious practices and beliefs in favour of something more realistic in nature. More contemporary, and less damaging.

user2006 wrote...
3. Taoism holds general positions on life, while Confucianism holds traditional views that will be outdated, such as that women are inferior, and that children are to obey adults even it means they will be submissive to whatever their parents need. 
Can you please provide citation for this.

Now, i will show what i believe to be the fatal weaknesses in Taoism. And i will begin by exemplifying how Taoists, nearly caused a true event in Chinese history, known as "the great flood", to become regarded as "mythology".

People who follow this religion believe that doing something with words, thoughts, symbolic actions, etc. can make things in the real world change. That idea is hard to understand. Here is an example: There is an old story that says China was once covered by a flood. The world was saved from the flood by 禹 Yǔ, who had only one leg that worked. Yǔ went to different parts of China in a special order, and he dug ditches to let the flood water go into the ocean. When something very bad happens in the world, a Daoist priest can go to the Daoist temple and act out what Yǔ did, and just doing that will make the world get fixed.

So from above, we clearly see that not only would stupid religious beliefs "cause a flood", by not doing anything about it. Religious beliefs would also fail to use the correct methods in which to tackle a flood. And also, those crazy beliefs will cause others in the future, to believe that "the flood" event was mythology, and the story may become mythologisised.
But was the Chinese great flood, mythology? No, it was not.

The Great Flood of Gun-Yu was a major flood event in ancient China that allegedly continued for at least two generations, which resulted in great population displacements among other disasters, such as storms and famine. People left their homes to live on the high hills and mounts, or nest on the trees.

Now according to mythology, created by Taoists, the date of the great flood is wrong.

According to mythological and historical sources, it is traditionally dated to the third millennium BCE, or about 2300-2200 BC, during the reign of Emperor Yao.

However, according to archaeologists the event occured 1900bc

However, archaeological evidence of an outburst flood on the Yellow River, comparable to similar severe events in the world in the past 10,000 years, has been dated to about 1900 BC (

But most importantly, "it did happen".

But, due to religious beliefs such as Taoism, the flood narrative got fictionalised, and mistaken for myth.
This was due to all kinds of religious belief being attributed to it.

The story of the Great Flood plays a dramatic role in Chinese mythology, and its various versions present a number of examples of the flood myth motif around the world. Flood narratives in Chinese mythology share certain common features, despite being somewhat lacking in internal consistency as well as incorporating various magical transformations and divine or semi-divine interventions like Nüwa.

Another myth attributed to "the great flood story" was the flood being a punishment for human sin".

 For example, the flood usually results from natural causes rather than "universal punishment for human sin".
However, luckily we do also have contemporary historic records of the flood event, that are far more rational.
According to rational thinkers at the time, the flood could be countered by building dikes and dams, and canals and creating channels aswell as teaching people how to construct this.

flooding is alleviated by constructing dikes and dams (such as the efforts of Gun), digging canals (as devised by Yu the Great), widening or deepening existing channels, and teaching these skills to others.

From this event, China pretty much ditched religious belief, and focused on education, and intelligence

During the course of fighting, surviving, and eventually getting the inundation problems under control, much progress was also made in terms of land management, beast control, and agricultural techniques. These and other developments are integral to the narrative, and exemplify a wider approach to human health and societal well being than emergency management of the flood and its immediate effects.

Now there are plenty other true stories from the ancient Chinese period that became fictionalised due to religious attributions destroying any believability in those stories.

A good example is King Zhou and Daji.

King Zhou was a king that got led astray by a beautiful woman named Daji.
He took his eyes off the ball, and began spending his days with Daji in his wine pool. where they would swim and make love in red wine, whilst watching POWS be tortured in front of them.
King Zhou was so drunk and led astray, he was unable to defend his kingdom when his enemies burnt it to a crisp.

This story became mythologisised by religious beliefs being attributed to it.
But it is in fact a true historical account

Now i will end this round with some Confucian quotes

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated.
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.
Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

Now, i do believe "Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you." 
pre-dates the OT quote.

Confucius  551–479 BC)

Round 2
As my opponent has forfeited. I will skip the summary and conclusion, and will end this debate by discussing "Chinese freemasonry", it's origins, and it's philosophies.

I will begin with the "Tiandihui", today regarded as a criminal triadist group.

The Tiandihui (Chinese: 天地會), the Heaven and Earth Society, also called Hongmen 洪門 (the Vast Family), is a Chinese fraternal organization 
They were outlawed by the British during British occupation of Hong Kong

Under British rule in Hong Kong, all Chinese secret societies were collectively seen as criminal threats and were bundled together and defined as "Triads"

Now, the main figure behind this fraternity, is an ancient Chinese war-lord named Guan-Yu.
Guan-yu is not worshipped so much, as reverred, as being a "brother" with a "secret hand-shake".

Hongmen members worldwide continue to observe certain common traditions: they all stress their patriotic origin; they all revere Guan Yu, a historic Chinese figure who embodies righteousness, patriotism, and loyalty; and they all share certain rituals and traditions such as the concept of brotherhood and a secret handshake.

Now, i am not going to propose that the Chinese are behind "Scottish free-masonry".
Quite simply, Scottish freemasonry pre-dates British occupation of Hong-Kong.
But i would propose that Scottish freemasons whilst in hong-kong, brought back with them to British shores, a new addition to their already well established concepts, with that being "confucianism". As confucianism sits well with "Scottish freemasonic philosophies".
I have no time to conclude this in this debate. So for where i conclude this, see this debate here.

So, whilst you go to the other debate, and read how i conclude Scottish enlightenment is compatible with Confucianism, and Scottish freemasons in Hong-kong would have been impressed with confucianism, i will now continue to who Guan-Yu is.

Guan-Yu was a military general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. Along with Zhang Fei, he shared a brotherly relationship with Liu Bei and accompanied him on most of his early exploits.
Guan-Yu was more than just a brutal war-lord however.
Guan-Yu was an educated man, and he had a fondness for contemporary Chinese history

He was very interested in the ancient history book Zuo zhuan and could fluently recite lines from it.

Now how Guan-Yu is recognised, depends on what philosophy you follow. And the differences in how Guan-Yu is recognised, is a good example of the differences between Confucianism, and other philosophies.
He is "wroshipped" by Buddhists. Regarded as a God, by Taoists. Held in high esteem, by Confucians.

Guan Yu was deified as early as the Sui dynasty (581–618), and is still worshipped today as a bodhisattva in Buddhist tradition and as a guardian deity in Chinese folk religion and Taoism.[11] He is also held in high esteem in Confucianism.
In Chinese religion

Now i think some groups appear to believe that Guan-Yu might have been a secret society member.

Now it must be noted, Confucianism was not accepted by everyone at the time, and there was during certain era's attempts to suppress Confucianism.

The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty.

It is quite self explanatory really, that in order to survive those suppressions, those schools must go underground, and become secret fraternities.

Those secret fraternities held and carried on the suppressed principles of strong family loyalty, and respect of elders by their children,

 He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children 
But more over, he championed "the golden rule" long before the OT did.

He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule.
And, the name confucius, means "Master Kong".

The name "Confucius" is a Latinized form of the Mandarin Chinese "Kǒng Fūzǐ" (孔夫子, meaning "Master Kǒng")

Therefore, Guan-Yu, was likely famous, for his confucian hand-shakes.

But i personally, think Confucianism has many positive merits.