The Analects of Confucius effectively represent the ideas of the ancient philosopher thought his conversations with his disciples. From this book, the reader can get an understanding of the values that underpinned the development of the Chinese civilization: filial piety, righteousness, loyalty, and humanity.
The book also gives one a glimpse into the life of the great man whose thinking influenced a whole civilization and the world. Chapter X, talking about Confucius’ life shows him to be human just as much as his disciples and followers. To me, it emphasizes that all great thinkers of humanity were human, not divine, and underscores the power of the human intellect and ability.
It is also interesting to think how much Confucius’ philosophy inspires one to think about the world in terms of morality rather than some objective principles of self-gain. In this sense, I find his teachings to be similar to those by Greek philosophers who emphasized the need to be virtuous. Confucius’ greatest value is human beings, a fact that makes his philosophic teachings. I find that humanity is an important asset of his work and something many of us miss in modern lives. Too often, people are compelled to act inhumanly by greed or need. Putting the humans at the forefront of morality makes Confucius’ philosophy so appealing to people throughout the world.
His emphasis on harmony is equally attractive. I think his ideas are what really made a difference in the mentality of Orientals and Occidentals as I have experienced it in my encounters with Asian students and friends. They are serious about being in harmony with the world, an idea that to a great deal stems from their religion and philosophy, most notably Confucianism.
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