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Which Ancient Chinese Philosophy Are You?


Which Ancient Chinese Philosophy Are You?  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. What elements of Taoism seem to be a part of your personal beliefs?

    • One achieves perfection by becoming one with the unplanned rhythms of the world, rather than by fulfilling ambitions and through activism.
    • Emphasizes action without intention
    • Naturalness is preferable to the artificial
    • Simplicity is preferable to the complex
    • Spontaneity is preferable to the planned or intended
    • The three treasures are compassion, frugality, and humility
    • One should be detached from desires
    • "The name that can be named is not the eternal name; The nameless is the origin of heaven and earth"
    • Balance -- the Yin/Yang -- leads to perfection
    • "Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self."
    • “When goodness is lost there is morality.”
  2. 2. What elements of Confucianism seem to be a part of your personal beliefs?

    • Focus on family and social harmony rather than otherworldly source of spiritual values
    • Humanistic; the secular is sacred
    • Humans are fundamentally good and are perfected through self-cultivation and self-creation.
    • Benevolence, humaneness, compassion, righteousness, and moral disposition to do good are essential traits.
    • It is essential to be able to see what is right or fair, wrong and unfair in behavior exhibited by others
    • Those failing to uphold the essential qualities in #4 and #5 should be held in contempt, actively or inactively.
    • Filial piety -- the virtues of respecting one's parents, ancestors, and the hierarchies within society is a key virtue
    • "Have no friend not equal to yourself"
    • "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others." (Golden Rule said several centuries before Jesus)
    • "Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand."
    • "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."
  3. 3. What elements of Legalism seem to be a part of your personal beliefs?

    • Humans are inherently bad or evil as they are motivated entirely by self-interest
    • Strictly and impartially enforced laws are requires to control the impulses of humans
    • Tradition and humanity are impossible ideals; morality does not exist in nature
    • Attempts to improve society via noble example, education, and ethical precepts have been and are useless
    • Even minor infractions must be punished harshly
    • Order and harmony can be established only through a strong central government and hierarchy to bring the world "under heaven"
    • "The intelligent ruler makes law select men and makes no arbitrary appointment himself; he makes the law measure merits and makes no arbitrary judgment himself."
    • "It is dangerous for a ruler to trust others. He who trusts others can be manipulated by others."
    • "No state is forever strong or forever weak. If those who uphold the law are strong, the state will be strong; if they are weak, the state will be weak.“
    • "A ruler makes use of the majority and neglects the minority, and so he does not devote himself to virtue but to law."
    • "Claiming certainty without corroborating evidence is stupid.”
  4. 4. What elements of Mohism seem to be a part of your personal beliefs?

    • A person should care about all other individuals, regardless of their relationship to him or her. (Indiscriminate caring)
    • All people are equally deserving of receiving material benefit and being protected from physical harm.
    • morality is defined not by tradition and ritual, but rather by a constant moral guide that promotes and encourages social behaviors that maximize the general utility of all the people in that society.
    • Oppose any form of aggression, especially war between states; However, it is permissible for a state or person to use force in legitimate defense.
    • Government positions should be given or revoked on merit, rather than by blood relation or friendship.
    • A ruler should be in close proximity to talented people, treasuring talents and seeking their counsel frequently.
    • Rulers should be benevolent, officials selected according to meritocracy, and the people should be united and sectarianism avoided
    • Thrift should be embraced and ostentation shunned; aesthetics are nearly useless
    • "Whoever criticizes others must have something to replace them. Criticism without suggestion is like trying to stop flood with flood and put out fire with fire. It will surely be without worth."
    • "To accomplish anything whatsoever one must have standards. None have yet accomplished anything without them."
    • "Suppose we try to locate the cause of disorder, we shall find it lies in the want of mutual love."
  5. 5. Which of these 4 schools of Ancient Chinese thought are you most connected with? [multiple choice for tie]

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3 hours ago, vcczar said:

Inspired by reading a little about the Hundred Schools of Thought in China, which all developed at the same time about 4 to 5 centuries before Jesus Christ.

It’s a pretty clear win for Confucianism for me. Mohism is relatively close and has some good stuff while Legalism is hit or miss and Taoism is pretty much bunk.

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I was definitely more Taoistic until about 2013—8 years ago. I think NYC moved me out of it, although it didn’t take until I had left NYC to move that direction. Still got a lot of Tao in me left  

I’m probably slightly more Confucian now in that the parts I like are probably more consistent  The things I like in Taoism and Mohism don’t always apply.  However, I’m a strong mix of the three.

Legalist just seems like totalitarian evil. Pol Pot stuff. 


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6 minutes ago, Patine said:

Though, did you read the interesting note I made to Dobs, in my post above, there.

I did now. Good post. I’ve always seen people compare them before but that’s the first explanation I’ve seen as I’ve never really understood nor researched Taoism. 

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24 minutes ago, Patine said:

Taoism, in it's societal aspects (not the mysticism) is the closest thing to Ancient Chinese Libertarianism, if you follow what Lao Tzu is saying here. He may not be remotely as in-your-face or militant in his rhetoric about it as modern American and other Western Libertarians, but he says the Sage desires to live a life without oppressive authority as on their own terms. Confucians, however, have a lot of rhetoric about honouring the system, your Elders, the Emperor and his designated representatives, and the Heavenly Order without too much leeway for protest or protections of rights. Food for thought, there, @Dobs.

I’m just following vcczars quotes. The reality is that I don’t follow ancient Chinese philosophy to any degree and that above anything I follow Christian theology and enlightenment philosophy. I’m a diehard classical liberal. So this really is not much more for me than a fun exercise to try out some different approaches with full knowledge I’m not *actually* picking out my belief system.

That said I definitely appreciate your input and perspective on this matter.

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I don’t know much about these philosophies  but based off of these excerpts my personal philosophy lines up pretty well with Confucian and Mohism. Barely know anything about the former, and hadn’t heard about the latter before, will look more into them. Legalism seems like a mixed bag, and Taoism seems like an ideology by, and for ‘College Libertarians’. I legitimately don’t agree with anything on the Taoist list, I just selected what I disagreed with least.

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