1) There is currently an epidemic of anxiety in this country. The Confucius approach would likely be to implement more education and more music into our society to rectify this disharmony. Seeing as anxiety represents the body or mind in a state of alarm- Confucianism would settle to find the source of this uneasiness and set it into harmony. However, a daoist solution might be to stop trying to cure the state of your being and instead allow it to just exist and listen to what these feelings are telling you. Representing this “creative letting-be” would be halting all attempts to mend disrepair and instead allowing the universe to play out as intended. “Repose, tranquility, stillness, inaction- there were the source of all things. Keep this in mind when coming forward to pacify a troubled world, and your merit shall be great and your name illustrious, and the empire united into one” (Perusal Conf.DaoismWWSelection). By pausing all intensive searches for the answer, the solution will find you be simply returning to the source. Both Confucianism and Daoism play deeply into the idea of looking to the past for the answer- and in this passage of Daoist theory, one can take note of the original “past,” as it were, of complete tranquility and of therefore, achieving a state of calm with acceptance of the natural order of things.
2) I do not agree that humans are like warped wood. It seems to me that humans are more neutral. We were not given intention upon birth beyond that of surviving and reproducing to further the species. It is vain for mankind to think we were endowed with a certain expectation and intention that differs from any other creature that has touched this earth. What is goodness? Whatever serves our species because we made it up. There is no divine moral final stop that tells us life is definitively sacred. Life is sacred because we say it is, probably because we are alive. “The world is sacred. It can’t be improved (WW Ch. 4).” The Tao states that the real, eternal force is unchanging and that any attempts to shake it’s balance are ones made in vain. Humans are a lot like this; we have a set practice of our real needs and intentions and any attempt to shove them aside or just ignore them are unhelpful because they will simply just reemerge.
3) I have been most surprised by the influence of religion and religious practice in each society- some of them even involving human sacrifice which indicates such an attachment and connection to their beliefs. I’ve always been fascinated by religion and by people’s ability and willingness to follow a faith that lacks all reason, evidence, or logic. Of course, before such scientific revelations, it follows that early societies may be far more inclined to lean on a narrative providing an explanation for their observable surroundings. However, the extent to which each culture went about appraising its own belief system (often contrasting with the ones before or around it) truly brought me to ponder the draw of religion beyond simple explanation in place of tangible evidence. My conclusion has been that the social prevalence in these cultures is the true ‘religion.’ The warship is really that of the innate social bond tying us together and allowing our species to prevail. Humans are incredibly socially complex and interactive creatures and facing problems together has always been what’s forced us to use our combined strengths to solve issues- therefore, it tracks that we might create issues (for example: and angry god depriving the land of water) that require our combined ritual and social gathering to solve (for example: a sacrifice and ritual in which most of the society is present and partaking). However, religion was limiting in thought- which brings me to the Greeks whose democratic society allowed for a less secular culture which cultivated a larger diversity in ideas and explanations leading to scientific predictions and breakthroughs in philosophy. This transition shows the growth away from a crutch that had gotten us as far as it could in terms of explanation and now we were branching off in more modern and evidence based theories.
* Explain why you agree with this three points