You work for a company that measures public opinion and other ideas that can be surveyed. You recently began work at this company after graduating from college with a major in statistics and a minor in religious studies. Your company has operations in China and has been subcontracted to survey Chinese religious attitudes to determine underlying Confucian and Daoist influences in peoples’ lives. The last time around, the survey of worldwide religious attitudes left China out owing to insufficient data—a major omission considering China is the world’s most populous country, with the second largest GDP in the world. Because no one in your company has a background in Confucianism or Daoism, you have been asked to create a report clearly describing the different aspects of the two traditions, which will then be used to interpret the survey results at a later date.
Your report should discuss the following five aspects of the Confucian and Daoist traditions. The responses should focus primarily on the thought of Confucius and Laozi, although you may make reference to the thought of Mencius and Zhuangzi when appropriate. Your response should be in five paragraphs consisting of two to four sentences for each one, and should result in an accurate description of these two traditions. It is, therefore, important in your response to highlight the differences between these two traditions. Here are the five core aspects of the Confucian and Daoist traditions you are to address.
First, explain a few of the major differences between the Confucian understanding of the Way and the Daoist understanding of the Way.
Second, describe the Confucian view of culture and civilization.
Third, discuss the importance of li for Confucius.
Fourth, describe the Daoist view of the natural world.
Fifth, describe the role of emptiness in Daoism.
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