Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Gentleman

I found, from reading the Analects that Confucianism focuses largely on becoming a “gentleman”. According to one of the sayings, the man was supposed to combine the qualities of saint, scholar, and gentleman. They were supposed to act as moral guides to the people and lead others on their way to becoming one. Gentlemen were obliged to cultivate themselves morally, show filial piety and loyalty where these are due, and cultivate humanity, or benevolence. I also noticed a lot of talk about “good” and “bad” men. From what I understand, the good men are the ones who are gentlemen or at least on their way to becoming gentlemen, and the bad men are those who abandon the Confucian values. Confucius wanted to eliminate the presence of the bad men by getting everyone to follow the Way and be a gentleman.


Ian said...

I think what Confucius wanted was not necessarily the perfect gentlemen. I believe he genuinely wanted everyone, men and women, especially rulers and sages, to have reverence and respect all of those around them. This, Confucius believed, would led to the perfect society and prevent revolutions. He thought people had the riht to rebel, but not revolt (there is a difference). Through his Analects Confucius was able to show people his Good Way.

wkuehne said...

Confuscianism is a religion, and I have always had a hard time contemplating the implications of Confuscianism in that regard. Perhaps Confuscianism teaches to follow what one perceives as "good" and that in itself is analagous to a god? Maybe Confuscianism is more similar to Hinduism or Buddhism in that there is a certain amount of "homeostasis" if you will, within humanity and that is the larger force that people cannot comprehend. What is certain is that Confusicianism doesn't allow for a split between secularism and religion because Confuscianism as a religion dictates social regulations.