Essay by sananeCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2003

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Philosophical or Religious System?

Have you ever thought about the difference between religious and philosophical systems and also the difference between Confucian, Buddhist thought and religions? Confucianism was born as a result of the search for an ideal leader. On the other hand, Buddhism was born as a consequence of an investigation to find the true nature of life. Moreover, Buddhism and Confucianism have some similarities like organizing the people's attitudes towards each other and towards society. Also, Buddhism and Confucianism have some differences due to their founders' status in the society. Although, Buddhism and Confucianism are interested in the world that we live in, they can't be classified as religious systems due to their aim in the society.

First of all, Confucianism isn't a religious system, it is a philosophical system, since it was focused on earthly realm and the proper ways to arrange social relationships and accomplish good government.

In other words, Confucianism aimed to organize the social life of people and its aim was not about the other world. Furthermore, Confucius was a philosopher, and he was interested in the true and effective way of ruling people. Also, Confucianism was born when according to Confucius' investigations. Therefore, Confucianism became a system of social and ethical philosophy rather than a religion. In fact, Confucianism built on an ancient religious foundation to establish the social values, institutions, and transcendent ideals of traditional Chinese society, but it was not a religion. According to Confucian thought social harmony depended on each person accepting his or her allotted place and performing the tasks that his or her social station required. A further point is the ultimate goal is individual happiness for human beings in Confucian thought. The necessary condition to provide happiness is through peace. Also, Confucius discovered human relations consisting of...