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Describe, compare and contrast the ethical systems of Hinduism and Confucianism - Essay Example

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However, they bear similarities in that they emphasize that a life marked by respect, love and loyalty is the pathway to personal improvement and spiritual fulfillment. Both…
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Describe, compare and contrast the ethical systems of Hinduism and Confucianism
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Download file to see previous pages This core belief presupposes a journey of transcendence, of transformation, that ultimately brings the soul to spiritual perfection, or moksha. The idea of the reincarnated soul is intrinsic to Hinduism, which teaches that the atman at long last merges with the great universal soul, or Brahman. Confucianism espouses a more humanistic, temporal view that emphasizes the improvement of human nature through teaching and personal experience. Confucianism is not a Deist religion in the same sense as Hinduism. It is sometimes considered more of a philosophy than a pure religion in the sense that it doesn’t emphasize care of the soul. However, its 6 million adherents have come to regard Confucius as a divine source of wisdom who achieved a form of ideal perfection in his life.
Confucianism is a fairly elastic term for a belief system that has been present in China “from time immemorial” (Sarkar, 1916). In “Chinese Religion Through Asian Eyes,” Sarkar writes that a man named Confucius was the librarian at Lu and is thought to have compiled, or edited, a classic text in which the ancient Chinese “Cult of the World Forces” found expression (Ibid). Therefore, Sarkar writes that Confucianism, as it is now known, had actually pervaded China long before Confucius was born. It has since the 5th century A.D. become more like Hinduism in that Confucius himself has been worshipped as a god since that time (Ibid).
Confucianism may, in practice, be an intricate system of moral, philosophical and social thought but it has long held the status of a religion in China as Hinduism has for hundreds of millions in India and throughout Southeast Asia.
For many, the comparison between the two begins and ends there. Hinduism is, after all, a polytheistic religion with thousands of deities in which reincarnation plays a prominent role. Salvation only comes after the soul is at long last freed from the cycle of birth and death. For adherents of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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