What Are The Similarities And Differences Between Buddhism And Confucianism?


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Rory Copus Profile
Rory Copus answered

The primary difference which sets the two apart in general terms is the fact that Buddhism is a religion whereas Confucianism is in theory more of a philosophy. This makes it difficult to compare the two as they aren't really highly related to one another. However, I will try and give details of the main viewpoints and rules which underpin both beliefs.

One main similarity between the two is that neither is actually focused around the belief of a God as such. Although Buddhists may believe in God in some ways; their religion isn't based on this belief, instead it is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha). Siddhartha Gautama came up with this way of life and understanding which has been followed since around 500 BC.

Those who follow Buddha, choose to give up a majority of the luxuries of life; opting to solely rely on the necessities. They forgoe ownership of televisions and cars; they are not allowed to drink, smoke or eat meat or fish; they do not save money and they do not waste anything. Buddhists believe in living a generally good life and will not do harm or lie.

The beliefs which underpin Confucianism aren't a million miles away from Buddhism as they again relate to the general good and positive. Confucianists have six primary beliefs, these are; empathy, honesty, love, loyalty, righteousness and etiquette. As with Buddhism these relate to maintaining a good soul and being a good person, but it differs in the exact points which it focuses on.

Buddhists believe in karma, which followers believe that their actions of the body and mind will produce future results and consequences. This is probably where the saying 'what goes around comes around' comes from, as many believe that negative actions towards somebody today will result in your own bad luck tomorrow.

The first teachings and the very essence of Buddhism is The Four Noble Truths, which is taught by the Dalai Lama. Teachings say that suffering is caused by a craving and once that craving is forgotten, the suffering will end.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Buddhism believes in non self or anatman which means that we are a collection of souls known as Skandhas. They also believe in non attachment to actions because actions keep us in the realm of Samsara, or the world of suffering, which prevents us from achieving liberation. They believe that life is pain and suffering and that our attachment to the world and who we perceive ourselves to be acts as delusions that prevent us from knowing the true nature of our existence in samsara. Confucianism emphasizes the five relationships, filial piety, social order or harmony with society meaning that leaders should treat their people with respect to promote harmony in the land, and of course the benevolent person known as the gentleman who seeks to be right with his duties in life. They are similar in their believes in dependent of origination which states that we are dependent upon one another for survival and that if we respect our relationships we can help others to achieve liberation and harmony with the heavens (Confucianism) and liberation into Nirvana(Buddhism)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Both were strong social cements which upheld the social and gender hierarchy of their respective civilizations. Both served to promote the governmental structure. Both established strict hierarchies, and while Confucianism focused on family and gender relationships, Hinduism focused on class/caste hierarchy.

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