Difference between Taoism and Confucianism | Taoism vs. Confucianism

Taoism vs. Confucianism

Difference between Taoism and Confucianism: – Confucianism and Taoism are two of the most popular philosophies or ideologies that are followed even today, not only by the number of native followers from Asia, but also by many other people around the world.

While they have some religious elements in common, the two philosophies seem to contradict each other at first sight. However, seeing it differently, between these two ideologies seem to intertwine methodologies of human thought with respect to everything; which leads to certain defined codes of conduct.

Difference between Taoism and Confucianism

In spite of everything, the two philosophies differ in some things. First of all, Confucianism is more important to talk about as it focuses on the social aspect of man and his daily life. As Confucius said, who proposed Confucianism, philosophy is inherently the social creature that has the ability to be good. You become someone superior if you behave the way society expects to stay in harmony.

Taoism is different, because it goes beyond this world. The main idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthis philosophy is to embrace the Tao (the greater reality that is composed by the universe and everything else). It also focuses on the person’s relationship with himself to achieve inner harmony. Therefore, it is well to say that in Confucianism the person attains self-relation by relating to his immediate external environment, while Taoism proposes that this self-improvement is achieved by oneself; that is, internally.

Another element of distinction is the methodology by which these philosophies transmit their lessons. In Confucianism, classes are usually passed on from the teacher to the students in the form of dialogues. As you might expect, most of Confucius’ teachings consist of question-and-answer sessions between the students and the teacher. But half of each dialogue you get a unique teaching. Taoism, on the other hand, is taught directly through the writings of Lao Tzu (also called Lao Test). The chief manuscript of Taoism is the “Tao Te Ching”.

Key differences between Taoism and Confucianism

  • Confucianism focuses more on earthly life, while Taoism looks at life beyond this world.
  • In Taoism one works more with the individual, whereas Confucianism tends to take into account the relationship of the individual to his environment.
  • The teachings of Confucianism are usually transmitted through dialogues, whereas in Taoism they are based on the writings of Lao Tse.
  • Confucianism was developed by Confucius, while Taoism arises thanks to Lao Tse.