|Daoism & Legalism
~Daoism and Legalism~
Other beliefs besides Confucianism influenced
Daoism (DOW-ih-zum) takes its name from Dao, meaning “the way.” Daoism stressed living in harmony with the Dao, the guiding force of all reality. Daoists didn’t agree with the idea that active, involved leaders brought social harmony. Instead, they wanted the government to stay out of people’s lives.
Daoists believed that people should avoid interfering with nature or each other. They should be like water and simply let things flow in a natural way. He would govern so effortlessly that his people would not even know they were being governed.
Daoists taught that the universe is a balance of opposites: female and male, light and dark, low and high. In each case, opposing forces should be in harmony.
While Confucianism focused its followers’ attention on the human world, Daoists paid more attention to the natural world. Daoists regarded humans as just a part of nature, not better than any other thing.
Legalism, the belief that people were bad by nature and needed to be controlled, contrasted with both Confucianism and Daoism. Unlike the other two beliefs, Legalism was a political philosophy without religious concerns. Instead, it dealt only with government and social control.
Followers of Legalism disagreed with the moral preaching of Confucius. Legalists also rejected Daoism because it didn’t stress respect for authority.
Legalists felt that society needed strict laws to keep people in line and that punishments should fit crimes. For example, they believed that citizens should be held responsible for each other’s conduct. A guilty person’s relatives and neighbors should also be punished. They wanted appointed officials, not nobles, to run
Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism competed for followers. All three beliefs became popular, but the Legalists were the first to put their ideas into practice throughout
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