Confucianism and Daoism were two of the largest philosophies that helped shape China into what it is today. The Chinese civilization was shaped by Confucianism and Daoism for more than 2500 years. Confucianism and Daoism were very similar, yet different, in many ways. For example, Confucianism and Daoism shared having respect for important things that were symbolized in their civilizations such as society and nature. While the two philosophies shared many similarities, the two also had a few differences such as their priorities in their governments and how they chose to rule their civilizations/societies. Confucianism and Daoism played very important roles in shaping Chinese philosophies and shared similarities and differences.
Something both Daoism and Confucianism both believed in was to achieve harmony. For the Daoism philosophy, it was to achieve harmony with nature. In the same way with the main goal being to achieve harmony, Confucianism believed that harmony was achieved when mankind created peace, as well as when they accepted their place in society. Daoism and Confucianism also shared having respect for the things important to their cultures. Daoism had respect for nature and Confucianism had respect for other people and their society.
While Confucianism and Daoism had a few similarities, they also had many differences. Confucianism believed in setting examples for others. A good example of this is that Confucius practiced 5 key relationships: ruler to subject, parent to child, husband to wife, elder brother to younger brother, and friend to friend. Except for friendship, none of these relationships were equal. Daoists sought to live in harmony with nature as Daoism was not concerned with bringing order to human affairs, unlike confucianism. Daoism evolved into a “popular religion” with gods & goddesses and magical practices.
Daoist priests searched for a substance for immortality. Another difference between Confucianism and Daoism is that Daoism believed that government was unnatural and the cause of many problems. Where on the other hand, Confucianism believed that if a ruler brought a good government, the people would be respectful & loyal in return. Confucius had little interest in spiritual matters and developed a philosophy that was concerned with a good government & having social order.
Confucianism and Daoism were alike in ways, but they were also their own philosophies and had their own characteristics that made them unique to the early Chinese civilizations. Confucianism and Daoism shared ideas on how to maintain harmony in nature and in their own societies, yet disagreed when it came to how they govern their societies. Confucianism and Daoism had a majorly important impact on the early Chinese society and still has an impact in modern society today.