Essay by wrong83College, UndergraduateB, October 2008

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TeachingsAs you have learned already the Analects is the earliest Chinese text that stresses the conceptof ren. Ren is said to mean: “benevolence,” “humaneness,” or “goodness.” For Confucius, renis the completed form of human virtues. Also, Confucius believed ren was a quality that everyhuman should strive to achieve. To Confucius, ren is the highest level of moral development inwhich a person's natural inclinations are in harmony with “Dao” (“Asian-Amercan”, 2008). Sofor Confucius, the good life is an endless goal for ethical perfection.

In one conventional Confucian view, ren has two aspects: loyalty and reciprocity. Analternative view is that ren is the perfect combination of a much longer list of virtues, includingloyalty, reciprocity, wisdom, courage, righteousness, filial piety, and faithfulness. Wisdom hasseveral aspects also, including being a good judge of the character of others. Courage is lack offear in doing what is right. Righteousness is doing what is appropriate for one’s role, an exampleis a father, son, teacher, or student.

Filial piety is doing something out of love and respect forone’s parents. Faithfulness includes honesty in word, but also involves not being persuasive toothers.

Another of Confucius’ teachings talks about, li which is the "appropriate manner of overtbehavior needed to express one's inner thoughts or intentions" (Bahm, 1998). It includessocially proper ways of acting, and also acting toward others in a way in which they will notmistake your intentions. Confucius thought that a person’s outer expression should reflect theirinner nature, or at least one's intention in this situation. In addition, li included proper etiquetteor good manners, in which a person’s family and community valued. Someone who fails tomake use of these principles is more likely to be misunderstood (Bahm, 1998). However, liarscan also make use of such rules of etiquette, and someone who is taken in by a false use of...