Buddhism vs. Confucianism

Essay by porcupinetreeUniversity, Bachelor'sD+, August 2008

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The following paper discusses the differences between the two religions that are Buddhism vs. Confucianism. In order to give а clearer understanding of the paper, I will first discuss Buddhism followed by а discussion about Confucianism.

Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha meaning the 'enlightened one', founded Buddhism in southern Nepal in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. There are many symbols associated with the Buddhist tradition which brings about а strong emphasis in the life of а follower. The lotus flower is а symbol of purity and dedication. Fish are also an important symbol within the Buddhist religion as the never close their eyes, thus, representing diligence. Both the lotus flower and sculptures of the 'golden fish' were seen throughout shrines in the temple (Abe, 1971).

Dissimilar to the teachings of Confucianism, Beliefs are another important feature within Buddhism. Beliefs are referred to as 'views' in Buddhism.

Buddhism does not deal through beliefs, but instead through 'views' or 'working formulas'. In Buddhism it is thought that upon the dissolution of the body, karma takes place. This rebirth can occur in either one of the following six realms- human form, animal form, heaven, ghosts, hel (Ehrlich, 1996) . Buddhists do not accept the concept of а creator God who passes judgment on his creations. Buddhism uses the idea of gods, however, Buddha is not god-it is а person who obtains enlightenment. Buddhists give offering of flowers, food, insense, clothes and light in order to honour Buddha, this can be exemplified through Picture Two of the Appendix. Inside the Great Mercy Hall, offerings are made to the statue of Kuan Yinin order to help release the sufferings of the people (Ehrlich, 1996).

Confucianism Confucius encouraged people to follow а code of moral conduct and have high respect for elders...