Confucianism VS. Taoism

By: Max Roeder


Confucianism is a broad topic and philosophy that leaves us with many questions and many thoughts on what Confucianism is. Confucianism started around 550 B.C.E. and is a philosophy founded by Confucius, his philosophy was taught on the idea of respect for others and peacefulness, and happiness comes from little desire and not having much.

Some questions you might ask:

Q: What would a government founded on Confucian principles look like?

A: Since Confucianism revolves around peacefulness, and not hurting other man unless you have too, and finally peacefulness, a government founded on it would be a government that rarely goes to war. Not just would the government rarely go to war, but the morale would not be low, as everyone is peaceful and happy with little desire they would be happy with the little that they have, not obsessing over getting more and more. The people of this society and the government would live on the idea of peace and happiness.

Q: How would an Asian family be influenced by Confucius' teachings?

A: A family would be more at peace with themselves and respect one another more as they get into Confucius teachings. Confucianism is founded off peace and respect for one another and that why when it comes to Confucianism in an Asian family it would create peace and respect.

Confucius Quotes and Sayings - Top 10


Taoism was founded by a man named Lao-tzu around 600 B.C.E. Taoism also taught some similar things to Confucianism such as, respect for one another. Lao-tzu says that "His enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself. He doesn't wish them personal harm." This really portrays Lao-tzu's ideas and how he felt towards violence, and how he felt towards respecting other man.

Q: Are Taoist principles relevant to the issues of everyday life today?

A: Yes, Taoist principles focus on the ideas of not causing harm to other man, unless you absolutely have to, yet throughout the world today, violence occurs everywhere, and not because it has to, nor does peace occur as throughout our world wars, and violence take place everyday.

Q: How do the individual principles/maxims of each philosophy connect to each other to form an entire religion/way of thinking?

A: As Confucius' maxims focus on respect to one another and do unto others what you would want done to you, and Lao-tzu's maxims, focus on not doing harm to other man they both have a very similar side to them, peace and respect among one another. They both form a philosophy/ way of thinking by presenting that all over the world their should be peace, that no one shall do any harm to other man. This would create a circle of peace, where no one would harm anyone and everyone would be in peace together.

Similarities and Differences In Confucianism and Taoism


  • Both focus on the ideas of peace
  • Both focus on the ideas that man shalt not harm other man
  • Both were created in china between 500-600 BCE
  • Both Confucius and Lao-tzu were not an average peasant but were of some wealth and education.
  • Both are spread as a religion and a philosophy


  • Lao-tzu's philosophy/religion, in order to succeed, you would have to be one with nature and peace.
  • Confucius's philosophy/religion, in order to succeed, would have to have a structured society
  • When you die with Confucianism you become worshiped as an ancestor
  • When you die with Taoism you absorb into space
  • In Confucianism it is believed you should follow those superior to you
  • In Taoism it is believed you should follow the Tao ("the way").