Both Lao Tzu and Confucius have a lot to say about the gentleman, the sage, the wise person, the person with humaneness. Lao Tzu says that if we leave people alone, they are kind and generous by nature. Confucius says that we need to have strong ways to educate people in the traditions and ways of humaneness.
But the basic question is, “What is the goal of being a human or what should it be?” How are we to be judged as being successful, attractive, efficacious, popular, smart, or happy? In other words, what does the goal of being a ‘perfect’ person look like?
You might want to consider how the media or religion in America portrays the ideal person. Are we to be judged by looks, strength, and wealth or by compassion, empathy, and sharing?
And how do we get there? Do we leave everyone alone and assume that they will be positive and helpful by nature or do we need strong educational, directional, and governmental intervention? Do we need free tuition for an educated populace, the National Endowment for the Arts, theater, museums, cultural events, or social rituals that enhance our character and sense of unity and hope?
Take a look at the recent news and see what is being portrayed. In the things you read, see, or watch on television, how are people depicted in our society? Are they naturally good or naturally evil? Consider character, honesty, heroes and heroines, and our idols. What about Trump’s and the Congress’ [politicians’] character? Or the character and example of famous people, movie stars, or athletes?
- This paper should be four to seven hundred words in length.
- The due date is listed on Canvas. Papers must be submitted through Canvas in Word Document format or rich text.
- Using the Tao Te Ching for Taoism and The Analects for Confucianism, compare these Chinese ideals to the master story of what we should be like in America.