CONFUCIUS (551 ? 479 B.C.E.)

What is ?Ultimate Reality? for Confucius?
Ultimate Reality according to Confucius was primarily human reality. Confucius looks at the metaphysics of People and how they think. His concern was with human beings and their relationships along with their actions. His doctrine, which became known as the Confucian religion, sought ?Gentlemanly Conduct? or Dao (way) that was to be achieved through the process of adherence to ritual.

What are its competing aspects?
Confucius and his followers believed that all human beings are divided within themselves, and among themselves. This is due to their passions, ambitions, and confused loyalties (egoisms) being in conflict with their moral duties (altruisms). Other aspects of these divisions were age, social status, and wealth. People are never equal due to these social inequalities, although he believed there was a balance and harmony possible to achieve between these divisions.

How does he control them?
Confucius encouraged society return to ritual forms of behavior that had been abandoned during times of warfare and social turmoil. Whether in the context of grand ceremonies or everyday etiquette, ritual results in non-coercive social harmony that is the consequence of everyone?s cooperative efforts. Each individual has an impact on the well-being of society by fulfilling his or her roles in relation to other people. He believed in a system of education and training for the well-being of society and that this system of education and training should be a ritual.
Confucius put emphasis on five great relationships and five virtues.
5 Great Relationships: 5 Virtues:
1. Father-Son 1. Consideration (Ren)
2. Elder brother-Younger brother 2. Propriety (Li)
3. Husband-Wife 3. Reciprocity (Shu)
4. Friend-Friend 4. Filial Piety (Xiao)
5. Ruler-Subjects 5. Connoisseurship (Wen)

What is he trying to create?
The very thing that Confucius was trying to create was an exemplary way of life that he refers to as the ?Way? (or Dao). Society?s goal according to Confucius was the achievement of interpersonal harmony between the five Great relationships and the five virtues, beginning with the family. Particularly important to Confucius is the family because it is the basis on which everyone learns to relate to people. He encouraged his disciples attain this harmony through study and adherence to ritual and become exemplary persons.
Confucius believed that a person that attained this harmony always behaves appropriately to the role he or she is playing in any given situation. They are referred to as ?Junzi?, or noble person.