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Refutation paper - Essay Example

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Thesis: Though there are apparently contradictory classes of statements in Tao Te Ching, these statements can still be viewed to be consistent with each other. Context: Since the appearance of the sacred Chinese text over 2000 years ago, there are numerous interpretations and conclusions in the origins of the Tao Te Ching…
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Download file to see previous pages It was in 1868 when the text was first translated by John Chalmers, an Englishman, which eventually influenced Western culture. This short text is said to have two parts: The Tao Ching and the Te Ching (Lees, 2011). Because of the style of writing which is poetic in nature, there is a variety of interpretations which are even contradictory. According to Lees (2011), the sacred book is written in classical Chinese which is said to be difficult to understand thus making contradictory interpretations and translations. In Bebell and Fera’s research (2000), they cited that there are over 100 interpretations and adaptations of Lao Tzu’s text today. In the holistic analysis of the research conducted by Bebell and Fera in 2000, it revealed an overall similarity among different translation’s use of central concepts of Tao Te Ching though there are variance both minor and notable among them. The title can be translated literally to mean: Tao can be translated as “way”, or to mean “the Way”. ...
Thus, it is very important to examine the topic extensively as it is very tricky and invites a lot of criticism. Support or Evidence: If the statements are contradictory, we have to re-evaluate and make sense of everything. To do this, we have to interpret the statements in a Taoist standpoint. There are statements implies that nothing at all can be said about the Tao. A Taoist will definitely declare that Taoist sage will only possess a limited and qualified truth value. Textual evidence that reveals hierarchy of values can be found in Chapter 38 which states that kindness is considered higher value to follow (Allinson, 1994). Allinson’s study (1994) stated that if statements appear to attribute amoral or immoral behaviour to Taoist sage, then the statements must be made from outside the Taoist standpoint. If there is an existence of hierarchy of value, the statements which appear to attribute farther from the Tao must be carefully examined to determine existence of other interpretation. However, it can be said that there are only few statements that attribute to amoral or immoral behaviour. In short, interpretations must be found to be coherent to the greatest number of statements in the text. Examples of the contradictory statements are the first two in the Tao Te Ching. The first statement states that “The Tao that can be spoken about is not the constant Tao.” According to Allinson (1994), this statement appears to suggest that the Tao cannot be described. It should be noted that the Tao one is referring and its description are different such that the described Tao is really not the real Tao. The second statement in the Tao Te Ching is “The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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