Confucianism and Taoism are both ancient Chinese styles of living. Confucianism believes in setting good examples for others to follow, primarily in 5 key relationships: ruler and subject, wife and husband, older and younger sibling, friend and friend, and father and son. Taoism (a.k.a., Daoism) focuses on living harmoniously; this is where the concept of yin and yang originates.

Comparison chart

Confucianism versus Taoism comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartConfucianismTaoism
Place of origin China China
Place of worship Temple. Taoist monasteries, temples, shrines.
Practices Visit to temples to pay homage to Ti'en(God or Heaven), Confucius, and ancestors; To practice ('Jing zuo, ') or 'Quiet Sitting Philosophical maturity, virtuous conduct, internal alchemy, and some sexual practices.
Founder Kong Qiu (Confucius) Lao Tzu
Life after death To be worshipped as ancestors. If immortality isn't attained during life, the Tao will continue to evolve and manifest in different forms, in accordance with the entity's general conduct during a state of existence. This applies to all sentient and insentient beings.
Goal of religion To have a structured society. To be one with the Tao.
Use of statues and pictures Permitted. Common
Principle Confucianism all about the brotherhood of humanity. The Tao is the only principle. The rest are its manifestations.
Belief of God One God. Ancestors also worshipped, though. Tao literally means the Way, which indicates the movement of a dynamic existence that is composed of opposing forces. Taoists do not believe in a personal God.
Human Nature Humans should respect those who are superior to them. If humans are in tune with the Tao, their sufferings will cease. Taoism teaches that humans are capable of experiencing immortality.
Literal Meaning Disciple of Confucius. To follow the Tao.
Scriptures Analects of Confucius and Mencius; I Ching; Doctrine of Mean, etc. Daozang, a collection of 1400 texts organized in 3 sections which includes the Tao Te Ching, Zhuang Zi, I Ching, and some others.
Clergy Bureaucrats. Taoist clergies are led by the daoshis, masters of the Tao, and followed by daojiaotus, followers of Taoism who also support the clergy, although it is not common.
View of the Buddha Buddha is followed by many Confucians. Some Taoists argue that the Buddha was a student of Lao Tzu, although there is no concrete evidence for it. Most Taoists respect and follow the Buddha's teachings.
Status of women Socially inferior to men. No distinctions between men and women, as both are seen as manifestations of the Tao.
Original Language(s) Mandarin or Cantonese Old Chinese
Time of origin Approx. 550 B.C.E.(Before Common Era) Approx. 550 B.C.E (before common Era)
Goal of Philosophy Social Harmony. To gain balance in life.
Followers Confucianists Taoists
Geographical distribution and predominance Asia. China, Korea, to lesser extent Vietnam and Japan.
Can atheists partake in this religion's practices? Yes. Yes.
Concept of Deity Most believe in One God. Being manifestations of the Tao, Gods are seen as higher life forms.
Holy days/Official Holidays Chinese New Year, Teacher Day, Ancestor Day. Chinese New Year, 3 Day Festival of the Dead, Ancestor Day.
Views on other religions Confucianists see no contradiction in following more than one religion. Taoism teaches that all religions are as anything else; manifestations of the impersonal Tao.
View of other Dharmic religions Confucianists usually follow Buddhism, which is a Dharmic religion. Taoism has many similarities with Buddhism. Taoists are neutral against other Dharmic religions.

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