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(Kung Fu-Tse) Chinese thinker (Lu, current Shantung, China, h. 551-479 b.c.). Coming from a noble family ruined, throughout his life alternated periods in which served as master with others that served as an official of the small State of Lu, in the northeast of China, during the time of fragmentation of power under Chu dynasty. He failed in his attempts to attract the Princes, limiting his influence in life to which managed to exercise directly on some disciples.
The importance of the character comes from further dissemination of his thinking, known as Confucianism and Confucianism, contained mainly in his interviews. Such thinking may be interpreted as a response to the climate of disorder and ongoing battles between feudal lords that the historical era that had him live.
Confucianism is fundamentally an ethical and not a religion, because there are hardly any in the mention of divinity, since Confucio refused to speculate on the more there. The center of their concerns was the personal morality, both as regards the orientation of private conduct as to the rules of good governance.
Such moral, based on altruism, tolerance, mutual respect, social harmony and the fulfillment of the duty was actually a systematization of ideas present in the Chinese culture, reason why spread easily and contributed to shaping society and politics Chinese on a common basis. It is, consequently, of conservative thinking, and in fact so introduced him Confucius, placing in the past "golden age" in which had reigned the good principles that the Chinese should be returned.
Confucius reinforced the importance of the traditional family in Chinese society, to insist on respect of children to parents and the obedience of the women to their husbands. Also reinforced the submission of the town authorities, although rejecting tyranny: subjects should obedience to the sovereign, the State existed to search for the good of the governed; but, for the same reason, the rulers had to govern according to straight ethical principles, applying the moral example and not force. He dreamed of return to an idealized past in which a wise and kindly Emperor (the "son of heaven") will govern and was obeyed as a father for their children, in a general atmosphere of peace and order.
Confucius believed in the existence of a perfect cosmic order, that should be imitated in human affairs, achieving the harmony of the Earth with heaven, intelligent force that rules the world. Despite its distinctly conservative character, the thought of Confucius had a potential innovator in so far as it required a moral and beneficent Government: proclaiming that the nobility came not birth but of moral superiority; and left open the door to rebellion against immoral rulers.
Perhaps that is the reason why their ideas were not accepted by the leaders of the time, while they were spreading among the common people; unsuccessfully pursued during the time of the dynasty Ts'in (221-206 b.c.), Confucianism became the philosophy have official status under the dynasty (206 a. d. C-220 c). Since then, the system of selection of the personnel in the service of the State by opposition became the study of the thought of Confucius and his followers on one of the pillars of the formation of an educated man, who opened the doors of the bureaucracy and social promotion.
This doctrine moderate and strongly anchored in the traditional mentality has marked key ethics in China at least until the beginning of the 20th century and their influence remains visible until today, despite the efforts of Communist authorities to eradicate it. their influence also spread to Japan, Korea and Viet Nam as part of the cultural influence that generally have received Chinese neighboring countries.