Q3. Explain Confucius concept of virtue or de. Why does Confucius think a hermit cannot be virtuous? Confucius believed that the problem with government and society was caused by a lack of virtue. Confucius considered gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness all virtuous. ?According to Confucius if you are a hermit you cannot be virtuous. He argued that if you are virtuous, people will be attracted to you willing to provide you with help and information, and happily follow orders. Confucius even went as far as to say virtue is never solitary it always has neighbors (Analects; 4:25).
Confucius would say living virtuous is the best way because it would help you live a fulfilling and righteous life. Q4. What is the Concept of “Wu Wei” or Non Action in Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching? How does a ruler combat social problems through “ non-action” is it doing nothing? Provide an example from the text of ruling through non-action. The concept of Wu Wei or non-Action means going with the flow, it is the path of least resistance and effort, for there is no action without reaction, no desire with out restraint.
It means to find that path of least effort, for whatever we do always has a reaction. Do not seek to force something to happen. To rule through non-action “do not glorify heroes, and people will not contend. Don’t treasure rare objects and people will not steal. Don’t display what people desire and their hearts will not be disturbed. ” (Tao Te Ching p. 3) Live in a good place. Keep your mind deep. Treat others well. Stand by your word. Make fair rules. Do the right thing. Work when its time. Only do not contend, and you will not go wrong. ”(Tao te Ching p. 8)
Q5. In Walden, Thoreau famously states most people live lives of “quiet desperation. ” What makes Americans so desperate? Why does he think they suffer silently? Why are they so resigned to their fate? To explain Thoreau’s quote “most people live lives of quiet desperation”, he believed that the pursuit of success and wealth cheapened the lives of those engaged in it making them unable to appreciate the simpler pleasures. Thoreau describes most people live, spending all their time and energy working to acquire luxuries; this does not lead to human happiness.
Thoreau says that the ownership of such things is actually a disadvantage, one who owns them must take care of them, while one who owns little has more freedom to do as he pleases. This is why Thoreau chose to live simply and cheaply in a house he built and why he thinks Americans are desperate and suffer silently. Q6. In the Analects, Confucius claims that “ the Virtue of the gentleman is like the wind, and the virtue of the petty person is like that of the grass- when the wind moves over the grass, the grass is sure to bend” what does Confucius mean by this? What does he imply about the masses?
How do they learn virtue? Confucius refers to the virtuous person as the wind. Confucius often describes being virtuous has an effect on a person and virtuous people have a force, that attracts others around them. Confucius implies about the masses that virtuous will be stronger than the petty. According to Confucius “The gentleman brings out the best in others, and does not bring out the worst. The petty man does the opposite”. (The Analects 12. 16) This means that the virtuous people would ultimately influence the rest like when the wind blows the grass it is sure to move. Q7. How does Thoreau define freedom?
Why does he think a life of simplicity can restore freedom? In his book Walden, Thoreau defines freedom as “living free and uncommitted. ” He describes that he once considered buying a farm. He realized, though, that a person did not have to own a farm to enjoy those things such as the beauty of its landscape. Thoreau concludes: “But I would say to my fellows, once for all, as long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail. ’’ Thoreau tells his readers to simplify their lives as well so that they may live fully and freely.