The most influential eras in chinese history

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1. OPTION B: China (Michael Osorio )

The Warring States period was one of the most influential eras in Chinese history. It not only saw the rise of many of the great philosophers of Chinese civilization, but also witnessed the establishment of many of the governmental structures and cultural ideology that will define and shape China for the many years to come.

The Warring States period spans three centuries when various states battled for territorial advantage and dominance of China. As a result of this, different cultures and philosophies merged, blended, or even completely took over as time passed. Some of the notable ones being Daoism, Confucianism, and Legalism each was successful in their own time in their own way.

Daoism (meaning "The way" or "The way to go") was the ethical and moral way to live life. Lao Tzu being one of the founding philosophers of Daoism preached of harmony and orderliness of heaven and earth, having an eternal energy from the act of "non action" (Feres, Lecture, Ancient China). To live life in peace, simplicity, and tranquility. Everything that you do is an act of thoughtfulness and not done out of impulse.

Confucianism focused on the idea that people can be molded and ethical beings. By honoring one's ancestors and teaching others, society will improve. The ethical principles of Confucius can be summarized to the idea of conformity. Do not step outside the box and behaves how you should, when you should. Honor your Father, the Eldest, the Husband, and Rulers and the same benevolence will be returned to you.

Legalism in contrast focuses more on society being selfish and greedy, acting proactively as if something will go wrong. Han Fei Zi, was a Chinese philosopher of the Warring States period "Chinese Legalist" school said that humans were only good by governed law and punishment (SullySocialStudies, director. Legalism. Legalism, Youtube, 20 Nov. 2016, The government was in control and rewarded those who were helped society and those who harmed society was punished.

To compare it to our current day society, I believe there is something to take from each of the philosophies and that a combination of each one will best for organizing a society in a functioning manner. Respecting one's elders, teachers, and rulers creates a hierarchy so chaos does not occur. In addition to this by establishing a clear consistent system of reward and punishment that Legalism implemented, it keeps citizens from deviating from the law and gives a reason to become active members in society.

2. Option A - China (Krizandra Halal )

Ancestor veneration is the religious practice of praying to your ancestors. The practice is based on the belief that family members have a continued existence and that the spirits of these deceased ancestors will look after the family, take an interest in the affairs of the world, and possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Ghosts of their dead ancestors were believed to have magical powers that could either punish or help their living descendants.

Therefore, in order to keep their ancestors happy, they brought gifts of food and wine to temples and other sacred locations. It was thought that the living and the dead were interdependent on one another. The role of the living was to protect their graves and provide prayers, food and other offerings and the essences would go to the ancestors. As a result, the ancestors would come back and give them assistance in their daily living.

In addition to respecting one's dead ancestors, we also learned from the lecture, another essential ethical principle of Confucius was filial piety which is respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors.1 A common example of this is children taking care of their parents when they get older. Confucius believed that family was the basis of order and stability. Ceremonies emphasizing respect for family would be instilled in the young and remind adults of their place and responsibility in the natural order. For example, tending to the graves of deceased relatives and providing offerings.

Additionally, according to Siengkhene's video, Confucius was primarily concerned with creating a just and stable society through goodness because it would equip individuals with the appropriate qualities that would allow them to regulate themselves.2 In China, family served as a model for society in which it created a sense of order, stability, peace and balance. Therefore Confucianism believed that if there is order in the family, then there will be order in society.

The Mandate of Heaven was the belief that the Heaven appoints a ruler to become Emperor as a result of their virtuous and meritorious behavior. These emperors were thought to be the sons of heaven put in place by heave (T'ian). An Emperor can lose the mandate of heaven and be overthrown if there are signs of societal distress such as foreign invasions, dying crops, droughts, earthquakes, etc.1 The beliefs of ancestor veneration and T'ian relate to one another because ancestors were believed to have access to the gods. People hoped that their ancestors would work as mediaries between themselves and gods. Thus, praying to ancestors would help bring good fortune.

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Reference no: EM132013797


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