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Eastern Philosophy Comparison

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A Comparison of Eastern Philosophy

Asia, the world’s largest continent, consists of over one third of Earths total land are and approximately 60% of the world’s population. Further, a large percentage of Asia’s 4.3 billion people live in the countries of China, Japan, and India (Exploredia, 2011). Out of these densely populated countries three eastern schools of philosophy were born between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, and it is these same ancient philosophies that flourish throughout Asia today. Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism are three major schools of thought that significantly have impacted the political, social and religious views of Asian culture. Confucianism, which was inspired by Confucius, has been followed by the Chinese people for more than two thousand years (Confucianism, 2012, pp.1). Because Confucianism is described as a way of life, it is sometimes viewed as a philosophy and sometimes viewed as a religion, although it does not share the aspect of organization that most other religions share. The idea behind Confucianism is that wisdom and knowledge can be obtained through study, ritual practices, and learning from experiences. Humans are perfectible by wisdom and the ultimate goal is to reach a state of superior wisdom. The first principle Confucius taught is called the principle of mean, which is the importance of seeking balance and moderation in life. Any circumstance of extreme should be avoided. The second principle Confucius practiced is called sage, which is an intimate understanding of how humans and nature works. Confucius adamantly stressed the value of studying and imitating superior intellectuals from the past. Finally, he taught the principle of reciprocity, which is the practice of treating others the way you want to be treated. According to Confucius, “A virtuous man wishing to establish himself seeks

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