A Critique on Confucianism by Taoism

A Critique on Confucianism by Taoism

Taoism emerged at almost the same time as Confucianism. These schools of thought have had a significant influence on the physical and religious systems of China. According to Taoist, Confucianism has no attributes to humanity at all. Confucianism is only to pursue wealth and honor; it is therefore a form of greed which brings about immorality. Confucianism made people to be superior, the nature of man was changed through Confucianism and people died because of it (Taoism, n.d.).

There is a strong belief that humans can be taught and made to improve through self creation and self cultivation with no regard to the force of nature or the help of the local community. Confucianism shows how to maintain the basic ethics or the virtues such as benevolence, compassion and generosity. Which can be built among people before it affects the relations that they have with others (Jiadong, 2003).Taoists’ reject this opinion on people being creative, because being creative in applying the moral norms in life distorts the role of nature in life. Man should therefore, not interfere with the process of nature through trying to be innovative and life.

Many have stated that Confucianism only concentrates on the inner forms of virtue that could be calculated rather than the outer forms of virtue. An individual’s inner values are interfered with due to the decision to ignore nature. This is because people were taught what to believe in and the appropriate ways to act in response to a particular situation. Confucian made people not to appreciate the Tao and hence made them move further away from Taoism (Taosim, n.d.). According to Confucianism, man ought to act consciously, and this makes him forget about his spontaneous nature and its foundation on Tao. Tzu argues that a spontaneous mind is what brings about creativity (Shen, n.d.).The inner values that man has should not be interfered with yet Confucianism interferes with the inner values

Lustful behavior is created through Confucianism because of its greedy nature. The fact that people live in a commercial form of civilization makes people adapt this lustful nature. Tzu, a believer in Taoism encourages people to be free from such social constraints that make them to be selfish in nature (Shen, n.d).

Every human being is spontaneous and this is what makes them creative. It is, therefore, very important to note that Confucianism only makes people to adopt changes that suit them and compromises their nature in dealing with situation in a more creative manner. It is the human heart that leads to more freedom. Confucianism is not a solution for the society because it does not address the issue of spontaneity which is part of human nature. It is only Taoism that promotes and individual’s freedom (Shen, n.d).

Confucianism only destroys the balance of nature. The world should not go against nature or act as an obstacle for nature to takes its course. It is only nature that can bring order. An individual should act according to the natural law rather than to what he or she is taught or told. Confucianism does not harmonize the rule of nature and man; it creates conflict and confusion (Shen, n.d.).

Confucianism does not encourage a state of mind that is realistic in nature. Confucianism is what allows one’s mind to be used. This is due to many judgments and desires around it. According to Taoists, one can achieve anything without paying attention to how they are being judged. To achieve that inner peace and maintain all forms of moral values one has to free his or her mind from thoughts which interfere with their nature (Shen, n.d). Nature, Tornado Cash is therefore what gives man freedom and this freedom is threatened by the idea of Confucianism. Man should not let their thoughts or moral values to be interfered, with Confucianism which undermines the freedom that man has, the achievements that man makes is not determined but how he is  judged or how he is meant to behave

Confucianism created a distinction between man and animals which are all part of nature. Man therefore tends to regard animals as possessions rather than part of the natural environment. This results into man taking actions such as the creation of mechanical devices in order to kill animals. It provokes conflict and divides people creating a sense of animosity, which is not natural to man. If the society was to embrace Taoism there would be no conflict since nature could not possibly lead to such a state of confusion. Taoists believed that life should be simple rather than complicated (Taosim, n.d.).Man can only live in a moral manner if they learn to embrace nature and live with it.

Confucianism has dwelt too much on the aspect of the relationship among people in the society. This is a very shallow way of looking at life as it limits judgments   and results into imperfect judgments. Taoists state that Confucianism is only trying to create a moral society through protecting the world from the forces of nature. Taoists state that the only was to live a better life is through encouraging the co-existence of man and nature in the society today (Shen, n.d).The co-existence of man and nature is the only way that man can maintain his virtues rather than resisting the natural forces of nature that Confucianism believe is essential for man to act in a moral manner.

Confucianism depicts nature as being evil and a symbol of all negative things in the world. A leader, who focuses on Confucianism, would seek to control the behavior of individuals. There is, therefore, that need to judge people to be either moral or immoral in nature. The measure of morality is in relation to actions towards other people. There is a lack of kindness in the way they judge those who are perceived to be evil in that those who are as good as them and dislike are all evil. Confucianism, therefore, only wants to have a strong influence and impose its will on individuals. Believers in Confucianism want to civilize the society to what they believe is right, yet Taoists state that  it is only nature that can determine this because not everything can be placed at the right position (Shen, n.d).

According to Taoists, Confucianism underestimates the real beauty and ability of nature as is requires one to change what is natural within them. Confucianism hides from nature as it looks at it as a threat. People can be able to live with nature without creating any form of confusion if they do not adopt the main principles of Confucianism, which believes that civilization makes man separate from nature. Man can be separated from nature and be protected from it. This view is rejected by the Taoists (Shen, n.d.).The only thing that confucianism and Taoism can agree is the fact that  the man is not perfect and they cannot live perfectly moral lives without having values and norms that guide them. However, they differ in terms of how man should behave in order to be righteous or keep their virtues. Taoists believe that confucianism makes man to adopt behavior which is not enhanced by nature.

One can conclude that Confucianism has very distinct elements when compared to Taoism. Confucianism  believes that one does not have to abide by the rules of nature while Taoism believe that man can exist with nature  as long there is a clear understanding on the role that he has to play  in the society today. One who believes in Confucianism can thus end up spending a lot of time making many judgments that can lead to a lot of conflict and confusion. Confucians can decide to live without nature while Taoism encourages both the existence of nature and man in one society where they can actively interact. Unlike seeking for wealth, Taoism promotes peace and harmony between man and nature.


Jiadong, Z. (2003). On the Confucian Idea of. Retrieved 8thFebruary 2012 from: http://bic.cass.cn/english/infoShow/Arcitle_Show_Conference_Show_1.asp?ID=342&Title=The%20Roles%20of%20Values%20and%20Ethics%20in%20Contemporary%20China&strNavigation=Home-%3EForum&BigClassID=4&SmallClassID=9

Shen, V. (n.d.). “Lao Tzu’s Metaphysics and His Critique of Confucian Ethics.” crvp.org Retrieved 8thFebruary 2012 http://www.crvp.org/book/Series03/III-4/chapter_ii.htm

Taoism. (n.d.). Taoism vs. Confucianism. Retrieved 8thFebruary 2012 from: http://academic.hws.edu/chinese/huang/mdln210/mdln210-8.ppt.

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