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.

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Confucianism

Taoism

Place of origin China China
Place of worship Temple. Temple, shrine.
Practices Visit to temples to pay homage to Ti'en(God or Heaven), Confucius, and ancestors; To practice ('Jing zuo, ') or 'Quiet Sitting Visit to shrines, to pay homage to Taoist deities; Tai Chi, etc.
Founder Kong Qiu (Confucius) Lao Tzu
Goal of religion To have a structured society. To be one with nature.
Belief Confucianism is both a religion and a philosophy of China, and of Asia as a whole. It stresses human conduct over belief in God. Taoism is both a religion and a philosophy of China, and of Asia as a whole. It stresses humanity's relationship with nature.
Use of statues and pictures Permitted. Common
Scriptures Analects of Confucius and Mencius; I Ching; Doctrine of Mean, etc. Daozang, a collection of 1400 texts organized in 3 sections. Includes the Tao Te Ching, Zhuang Zi, I Ching, and other.
Human Nature Humans should respect those who are superior to them. Humans should just follow the Tao(or 'the Way').
Life after death To be worshipped as ancestors. Taoists believe that the soul survives after death and has the ability to travel through space.
Literal Meaning Disciple of Confucius. Those who follow the Way (Tao = Way)
Belief of God One God. Ancestors also worshipped, though. Most follow numerous deities.
Principle Confucianism all about the brotherhood of humanity. Taoists believe that life is good. Taoism lays emphasis on the body.
View of the Buddha Buddha is followed by many Confucians. Buddha is followed by many Taoists.
Original Language(s) Mandarin or Cantonese Old Chinese
Concept of God One God. Numerous deities.
Goal of Philosophy Social Harmony. To gain balance in life.
Status of women Socially inferior to men. generally equal, spoken of highly in the tao te ching (oldest taoist text) but varies among schools.
Followers Confucianists Taoists (modern spelling also Daoists)
Views on the afterlife To be worshipped by one's descendants and their families. The soul lives on.
Geographical distribution and predominance Asia. China, Korea, to lesser extent Vietnam and Japan.
Views on other religion Sees no contraction in following more than one religion. Sees no contradiction in following more than one religion.
Time of origin Approx. 550 B.C.E.(Before Common Era) Approx. 550 B.C.E (before common Era)
Clergy Bureaucrats. Priests
View of other Oriental religions Usually follows other Oriental religions, especially Taoism. Usually follows other Oriental religions, especially Confucianism.
Holy days/Official Holidays Chinese New Year, Teacher Day, Ancestor Day. Chinese New Year, 3 Day Festival of the Dead, Ancestor Day.
Offshoot religions Cao Dai. Confucianism was based on early teachings of Taoism, and many folk religions derive from Taoism.
Concept of Deity Most believe in One God. Most believe in numerous deities.
Can atheists partake in this religion's practices? Yes. Yes
Original Languages Mandarin or Cantonese Mandarin or Cantonese.
Holy days Chinese New Year, Teacher Day, Ancestor Day. Chinese New Year, Three Day Festival of the Dead, Lantern Festival
Virtue(s) in which religion is based upon Respect Contemplation

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