Man who run in front of car get tired.
Man who run behind car get exhausted.
War not determine who is right, war determine who is left.
Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.
Man who jump off cliff, jump to conclusion!
Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok.
Man who put head on railroad track to listen for train likely to end up with splitting headache.
Man who cut self while shaving, lose face.
Man who fart in church sit in own pew.
Virginity like bubble: one prick, all gone.
Ok then…. Since no major tenets of Confucianism remain intact after using an evolutionary philosophy lens to examine the survival of the fittest philosophers, I fell less bad about sharing those jokes, but I still feel bad enough that I'd prefer to move on quickly. Here then, is my brief analysis of what Confucius actually said. As always, quotes from wikipedia about the philosophers are written in italics and my responses follow in plain text.
Confucius (551-479 BCE) was a Chinese politician, teacher, editor, and social philosopher. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known as Confucianism.
Needs to Adapt
Confucius puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of study. Far from trying to build a systematic theory of life and society or establish a formalism of rites, he wanted his disciples to think deeply for themselves and relentlessly study the outside world, mostly through the old scriptures and by relating the moral problems of the present to past political events or past expressions of feelings by common people and reflective members of the elite. Learning is the way to progress and remain viable in a changing environment. Rather than relying primarily on writings from the past though, as if all knowledge has already been obtained, it is better to learn what we have learned in order to see what we still need to know, and then go out and find it.
One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior. His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules. Confucius, an exemplar of human excellence, serves as the ultimate model, rather than a deity or a universally true set of abstract principles. For these reasons, Confucius' teaching may be considered a Chinese example of humanism. Personal actions are more important than merely professing beliefs. Explicit rules are too innumerable to enumerate. The possibility of variations in circumstances often makes universal statements incorrect or too simple. Whether an action strives toward the goal of continued life over the long-term is what needs to be decided. This is a universally true principle to guide our judgment.
Confucius' political thought is based upon his ethical thought. He argues that the best government is one that rules through "rites" and people's natural morality, rather than by using bribery and coercion. Confucius pushed a new political agenda of his own: a revival of a unified royal state, whose rulers would succeed to power on the basis of their moral merits instead of lineage. These would be rulers devoted to their people, striving for personal and social perfection, and such a ruler would spread his own virtues to the people instead of imposing proper behavior with laws and rules. While he supported the idea of government by an all-powerful sage, ruling as an Emperor, his ideas contained a number of elements to limit the power of rulers. This is well intentioned, but misunderstands the purpose of government, the need for it to have a monopoly on force, the requirement to check and balance its powers. It may not have been permitted then to say that there should be no royal state, but we now know better.
One of his most famous teachings was the Golden Rule: What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others. This is too simple on its own. It assumes you and the others know what is good for yourselves. It also fails to recognize the diversity in human abilities and needs. Since it can easily lead to unintended harm, drop this rule. There is nothing golden (eternal and unchanging) about it.
The Confucian theory of ethics is based on three important conceptual aspects of life: ceremonies associated with sacrifice to ancestors and deities of various types; social and political institutions; and the etiquette of daily behavior. There are no deities and while we should remember our ancestors and be thankful for what they have built for us, sacrifices to them are wasteful. A comprehensive theory of ethics must be able to define what is good and why. Lists of political and social etiquette are not enough.
That's what I say about what Confucius say. What say you?