Main Differences Between Confucianism and Daoism

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Ancient China was mainly based on two traditional philosophies: Confucianism and Daoism. These philosophies or religions existed much earlier than others such as Buddhism which started becoming known in china after the 1st AD, and became an important aspect of Chinese culture.

It is said that Daoism was founded by Lao Tzu, also known as the Old Master. This way, most of the philosophical principles which Daoism would carry were given to it later by Lao Tzu, who has written a very important Daoist text called The Daodejing, also known as Tao Te Ching.

Daoism can be seen in two main ways: as a philosophy and religion. The philosophy of Daoism is where its religious aspect and points of view are born from, and it is based on concepts of respect for the nature, calm, reflection, simplicity and optimism among others.

The name of Daoism has its roots on the word Dao which means path or way. This way, this philosophy is based on the way in which people follows certain paths, which must be walked while focusing on the self knowledge and a thoughtful state of mind. According to Daoism, our paths are unique and we should learn from them by adopting a reflective and insightful state of mind which allows us to assimilate everything we can learn from them.

The religious side of Daoism was born from its philosophical concepts and was developed after the fifth century. Daoism as a religion has had a main role among Chinese religions and can be said that it has developed in a parallel way with Buddhism. Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism can be said to be the philosophic doctrines which have had the highest influence in Chinese culture and traditions.

Confucianism has its roots based on the search for a regulation and for molding behaviors. On the other hand, Daoism is about following personal paths in a self sufficient way. According to Lao Tzu, a man should study himself and be well aware of his path, interfering as little as possible in the things and actions surrounding him.