Confucian Moral Theory and Practice essay

Confucianism is an organization of moral, learning and statesmanship principles taught by Confucius and his adherents. The approach of Confucius is based on love for people and harmony and accord in thought and demeanor. Therefore, Confucian moral theory and practice constitute the traditional Chinese culture permeated throughout history, with its ethics and political ideals of performing social and government functions in the ancient Chinese empire. Confucianism is a system of social, and moral philosophy and is not perceived as a religion by most authors. The teaching is based on an ancient religious foundation of the social values and transcendent ideals of the traditional Chinese society. The philosophy aims at introducing principles of ethical existence such as the common good, duty to others and society, family relations, etc.

Due to the religious perspective, Confucianism became the most imperative Chinese belief. The public course of action and interpersonal connections of moral principles have been developed on the basis of the traditional Chinese society thus incorporating the inherent qualities of this nation. The family codes and political principles also related to the components of Confucianism. Nevertheless, the values incorporated in the Confucian ethical concept were influential in shaping the morals and outlooks of the Chinese society of that period as well and have been preserved till up to date. The theory also entails the importance of the human being that should be highly valued.

The early Confucian baseline focuses on guidance and strategies that can be used to perform in the society. An example of how the theory is used practically is when a master demands his or her junior members to stop talking while he/she is speaking on the prosperity of the firm. In response, the junior members reply in unison that despite the fact that they are not perfect, they will try their very best to act as per the instructions. Evidently, the response offered by the employees means that a person does not need to be mentally agile to put the instructions into practice. Confucius also considers that it is a pleasure to undertake what a person has learned, considering education as an important element of human development, which, by the way, had created a particular cult of knowledge in the country.

Primarily, the Confucian conjecture is made up of xi, zhi, li, yi, wen, and ren elements that are initiated to itemize convenient aspects on the notion in question. When it comes to the part of xi, it is related to an individual’s capability to develop and encourage honorable characteristics in oneself. This element means that the citizens ought to be taught to act well since it is an inherent part of their nature. Thus, in the development of an individual, when it comes to the part of xi, this module brings out the starting point for learning the principles of good qualities, certainty, and decency. An example is where an individual is perceived to be neither ethically right nor wrong. Therefore, a person has the ability to use this component as a means of making him/herself better. Thus, when a person involves his or her positive traits in doing right things with the right people, like that of positively contributing to the society, he or she is bound to have good features. On the other hand, taking part in wrong actions molds a person as a dangerous individual in the society. An example is a patriotic citizen and a thug, respectively.

Zhi is the natural substance, an intrinsic human trait. It means intelligence, wisdom, and the grasp of knowledge. One can also acquire and multiply the Zhi component via education. It is associated with how to edifice moral aspects and knowledge that the individual is being enlightened with via education and practice. This element is manifested when students opt to learn a particular topic to improve their performance. Essentially, allowing a person to receive a lesson and obtain knowledge is significant because learning and practicing lead to positive experiences. As a result, according to Confucius, learning and education generate a society that is updated and professional.

Li is a concept that refers to a particular ritual of the hierarchical social order, where each person understands their accountability in the society. The component of li is imperative because it is meant to shape an individual’s character and motivate a person to feel, act and behave in a particular manner. For example, in practice this concept is being realized as when a group of boys are aware that after circumcision, they are meant to act as guardians of the community. It is a heritable social order for them, which is passed from one generation to another. Based on the perspective that the boys are aware of their responsibility to the community, they undertake their tasks under the component of li. The boys are following the right path as long as they take it upon themselves to provide the needed defense to the community.

Furthermore, the constituent of yi is viewed as the integrity of a human being. According to Confucius’ assumption, yi is where all traits are adjudicated. The yi component serves as the moral set of ethical principles that underlies the Confucian philosophy. An example is where a judge undertakes his task in a moral perspective. For example, when working on a case, the moral standpoint for the judge is to  act in the right way without any hindrances from outside parties. The decision made by the judge in a moral way is efficient and unchangeable. Thus, in order to make a right and fair decision, a judge would have to use the component of yi, because it is an ethical entity.

The wen component is often described as something that an individual can use for entertainment and is translated as ‘arts of peace’. In its essence, this term is the notion of culture and its arts such as poetry, music, painting, etc. People desiring to take part in a concert are a practical example of this aspect. According to Confucian philosophy, art in itself entails maintenance of ethics and compassion. Unmistakably, the art is a type of entertainment positively affects its creators as well as the audience. Also, being engaged in artistic activities provides individual with the ability to acquire positive features , at the same time bringing people together. The connection between the citizens would develop with morality and benevolent to each other and the society as a whole. The art translates to the participants the significance of being there for each other, being a benefit for all. Therefore, the purpose of art is to act as icing on the cake, based on the fact that the two were drawing together. Art helps individuals to form closer interpersonal relations and ethical communication skills that would be useful for them and the society, in general. Further, there is also the ren aspect that is thought-out as the uppermost asset according to the Confucian theory because. It is the loftiest ultimate of ethical distinction. It is associated with goodwill, love and the embodiment of all other merits existing in the world. An example can be a person that has reached success through hard work, diligence, and patience.  For instance, a highly esteemed sportsman who is being respected all over the world, but who has reached high results by extensive training. The implication here is that ren is a constituent that entails being held in high esteem. It can be perceived as the primary entity of the Confucian moral theory because its usage presupposes that a person has undertaken all the other elements in practice. The outcome of using all the six components of Confucian moral theory is based on the active practice. The parts of Confucian theory entail that the enumeration made is a sign that Confucius was a philosopher but not a religious leader.

According to the examples given in the above paragraphs, it is clear that no individual is born with a fixed pre-defined and unaltered quality. A person instead becomes refined as they grow in their relationships. The more people become innovative, the more they bring new ideas into the society that can be used to understand the possibilities of living life positively. The Confucian moral theory shows that an individual is never alone and has never been alone as a social being; one ought to be in a relationship.

The term ritual was used to signify actions beyond the formal sacrifices and religious ceremonies. The insinuation of the Confucian moral principle acts as an affirmation of accepted values and norms in the foremost social institutions, family units, and fundamental human connections. The contents of the theory demonstrate that the society has to learn and practice to perfect or at least improve their contribution to the society. The rationale behind the theory states that no person is born with all knowledge, and hence the reason for practicing and learning. The principle also proposes the relevance of working together and living as one. The importance of the approach as per the insinuation of the theory is the society that can move towards a unified community.     

Naturally, the consolidation of the society is associated with a positive perspective because each person should be a role model in the community. Also, there would be those who would opt to follow the outstanding leaders of the state as well as other prominent citizens. However, Confucius also considered that there are those inclined to rule and those inclined to obey. The Confucian moral was expected to cultivate wise leaders through the approach of ren. It also secured the society in the face of the desperate crises and harmonizes social relations among individuals. The above-discussed examples of practical implementation of Confucian principles of life entail that following a role model presupposes having the component of ren It should be also noted that the formation of the theory took place in the atmosphere and background of social upheaval and was an unprecedented hypothetical indication on the challenges of moral development. The theory also entails that it is meant to teach the society on how to live a contended, principled and happy life. Confucian moral theory and practice appeal to the community is to associate with others so as to be recognized positively by the society. Evidently, the Confucian moral theory initial intention was not to bring a new religion. The real reason was to interpret and revive the unnamed religion of Zhou Empire.


Some of the aspects of Confucian moral theory and practice have been discussed both theoretically and via examples. An attempt to define what the theory intends to initiate and what its role role in the society is, has been made. As noted in the above paragraphs, Confucian moral theory and practice is made up of six components. The building blocks of the theory in question are xi, zhi, li, yi, wen, and ren. The six components can only be achieved via learning and practicing. The elements of the Confucian ethical theory also stipulate on what individuals in the society have to undertake so as to build a moral community.
Furthermore, the concept states that no person is born with all knowledge, and hence the reason for practicing and learning. The initial purpose of the philosophy was not to bring a new religious conviction but to interpret and revive the unnamed faith of Zhou Kingdom. There is also the issue that illustrates that the contents of the theory show that Confucius was a theorist and not a spiritual leader. The approach also brings out the conventional traditional Chinese culture permeated through history with its moral values and opinionated standards of performing leading functions in prehistoric Chinese realms. The theory stipulates that there is a connection between the family units and political principles, the ethical concepts of which are described in the teaching of Confucianism. The model exemplifies the collective order of the magnitude of the Chinese group of people and how they carry out their principled approach in a spiritual point of outlook. Throughout time, the Chinese people have developed a strong connection with the Confucian moral theory, practicing it in all the spheres of their everyday life and interaction.

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Confucian Moral Theory and Practice essay

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