Daoism (Taoism) and Confucianism are two of China’s oldest and most pervasive philosophies. They arose during roughly the same period in Chinese history, called the Hundred Schools of Thought. Both philosophies reflect this, as their overarching goals are to seek order and harmony in one’s life, relationship with society, and the universe. Confucianism evolved and spread around the same time as Taoism. However, Confucianism has developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius.
The fundamental premise of Confucianism is the importance of education for the moral development of the individual. If an individual develops morals, the state would not have to use its coercive powers to regulate the life of the people. The people themselves will refrain from doing something wrong. Like Taoism, Confucianism also had a huge impact on East Asian countries. Confucianism is a complicated system of social, moral, quasi-religious, political and philosophical thought. There are 7 themes of the Confucian thought which form the base of Confucianism.
They are Ritual, Relationships, Filial Piety, Loyalty, Humanity, The Gentleman and Rectification of Names. Taoism is a stream of thought which revolves around different but interconnected religious and philosophical traditions and concepts. Lao Zi is believed to be the founder of Taoism according to a number of historians. Tao’ – the word in simple terms means a path or a way. This thought process mainly concentrates on nature, men-cosmos correspondence, health, longevity, wu wei (doing nothing action), liberty, immortality and spontaneity.
Taoist ethics underline compassion, moderation and humility, which are considered to be its three jewels. Taoism has been divided into philosophical, religious and folk Taoism. Philosophical Taoism is a school of thought which has its premise in the classical text Dao de Jing. Folk Taoism, on the other hand, is more people-oriented. It is the Chinese folk religion. Religious Taoism pertains to the Celestial masters movement during the reign of Han Dynasty.