\Topic : The Impact of Confucianism and Mozi’s Ethical Theories on Traditional Values in Moderm Societies

Theme: Philosophy and Religion in East Asia

Contemporary Problem: Role of Traditional Values in Moderm Societies.

In examining the theme of religion and philosophy in East Asia and, specifically, studying the Late Vedic period of history (~1200-500 BCE), one comes across the essential concepts that still play significant roles in today’s world. A pivotal shift is marked in ethical and moral frameworks in the transition from the early Vedic traditions to more structured philosophical schools, such as those seen in philosophical schools that began to develop during China’s Warring States period. Confucianism and Daoism originated from ancient East Asia and the ethical theories of Mozi are resources that contain profound views about modern-day culture and standards (Confucius).

Source 1: Confucius

             Confucianism is especially expressed in the work known as The Analects of Confucius and presupposes the development of a virtuous personality and indications for the correct moral behavior on the state and societal levels and the importance of rituals for creating harmonious relations at these levels. These teachings highlight issues to do with family responsibility and elders’ dignity, sincerity, and self-cultivation as being fundamental values in society. To this day, Confucianism remains a dominant part of East Asian culture, reflecting such aspects of people’s lives as education, family organization, and political system.

Source 2: A Hundred Schools of Thought into the Warring States Period: Mozi and More!

             On the other hand, Mozi, an influential Chinese philosopher of the Warring States period presented a different kind of philosophy that contradicted the Confucian one. Mozi whose works are provided in the book Mozi Bianzheng disliked the thoughts of the Confucian school and instead, he established his thought forms on the most important tenet of his book, the policy of ‘universal love,’ jian’ai (Zehua 32). He objected to formalism, and intellectualism and advocated efficient work scores in right reason coupled with the greatest good of the greatest number. Mozi’s ideas of objective preference and the greatest happiness for the greatest number offered the Confucian hierarchy a new healthy competition, showing the blossoming of different opinions during one of the most pivotal epochs in Chinese philosophical history.

Research Questions

            The philosophical traditions originating in East Asia remain present in modern cultures of the same region; this fact poses questions regarding the translation of philosophies into current problems. Issues like globalization, modern technology, and new social systems replace the methods of carrying ethical knowledge from the past. With an emphasis on tradition and hierarchy, how do Confucian ideals resonate in societies increasingly characterized by globalization and individualism? In contrast, what insights do the principles by Mozi of utilitarian ethics and universal love offer in addressing modern issues including social inequity and environmental sustainability?

            Addressing such questions implies recognition of the notions developed within some specific historical context and are still determining the cultural constructions of selves and powers. Today, people still discuss the relevance of Confucian and Mozi’s readings in modern society admitting both their legacy importance and the shortage of ways on how these traditions contribute to solving contemporary multifaceted problems on the international level.The study seeks to reveal the paradoxes of Asian intellectuality and the correlation between the old worldview and the modern transformation, and the relevance of East Asian philosophies in the context of the modern world.

Works Cited

Confucius, M. (2023). Analects of confucius. Sheba Blake Publishing Corp.

Zehua, Liu. “The Contention of” A Hundred Schools of Thought” and Development of the Theory of Monarchism During the Warring States Period.” Contemporary Chinese Thought 45.2-3 (2013): 32-54.

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