WORLD RELIGION 8
Confucianism is considered as both a religion and philosophicalthought which was developed by Confucius in China. Confucianismfocuses on the human being and how humans should be virtuous. Theteachings of Confucianism concentrate on the need of the people beingmoral and working towards a better and peaceful world. It encouragesgood relationships between people. According to Confucius, the familyis an integral part in the development of a peaceful and moralsociety (Ames & Rosemont, 2010). The philosopher asserted thatthe family has the responsibility of showing the children anddirecting them towards the moral ways. Additionally, the teachings ofConfucianism points out to the need of caring for the old. The youngpeople who are energetic in the society have a responsibility oftaking care of the old and frail in society. Confucianism is viewedas being practical and ethical. It focuses on the practical aspectsin the world such as working towards a peaceful world. The teachingdiscourages wars since they take away the essential peace in theworld (Ames & Rosemont, 2010).
The morals that are encouraged by Confucianism include honesty,openness, kindness, respect for others, correct behavior, sincerity,fidelity and righteousness. It is clear that these are virtues thatencourage ethical behavior. The ethical views of Confucianism arelargely an influence of mystics. Confucius referred to somemysterious dynasties in his teachings. Additionally, Confucius calledupon the people to use the power from heaven as well as tapping thedivine power from heaven (Ames & Rosemont, 2010). This is anindication that Confucius believed in some deity or the existence ofheaven. He believed that divine power from heaven would bring loveand wisdom which was essential for social order in the society. Thebelief in the existence of heaven and some authority that would bringlove and wisdom is a mystical underpinning of Confucianism (Ames &Rosemont, 2010).
The arguments that were presented by Confucius had their foundationsin metaphysics. It is worth noting that metaphysics is a branch inphilosophy that seeks to answer various questions such as who peopleare? Why people live? or the purpose of living. Confucius avoidedaspects that are associated with spirits or gods and only focused onhuman being. His teachings were centered on the purpose of life andthe ultimate goal (Ames & Rosemont, 2010). According toConfucianism, the people have sufficient knowledge and wisdom tobring peace and harmony in the world. Confucius believed that thepeople have the responsibility of devoting themselves to humanity.This would be done through aspects such as helping the old, beingrighteous and honest, as well as establishing relationships that arebased on trust and respect for one another.
It is clear that the teachings and nature of Confucianism wasdealing with matters of fundamental reality. This is the sole purposeof metaphysics. Confucianism dealt with the aspect of being and howpeople evolved. This is a foundation of metaphysics whose primaryobjective is to study the being and its origin (Ames & Rosemont,2010). Confucianism has been defined both as a religion and aphilosophy. It has foundations in both religion and philosophy as ithas been seen in the discussion above. Although Confucius failed tofocus on deities or their worship in his teachings, there arestatements that he made which are religious in nature. His teachingsdealt with issues that were of everyday peaceful life. This makesConfucianism to have both mystical and metaphysical foundations (Ames& Rosemont, 2010).
The religion, culture and the culture of the Jewish peopleconstitutes what is referred to as Judaism. Research has indicatedthat Judaism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in theworld. It is worth stating that monotheistic is the belief of theexistence of one God or what has largely been said oneness of God(Newman, 2011). Whereas numerous people contend to the monotheisticnature of Judaism, there is evidence that Judaism might not have beenmonotheistic after all. There is evidence which supports the former,as well as the latter arguments. It is essential to look at theevidence in support of the monotheistic nature of Judaism.
The sacred texts associated with Judaism Torah and the Talmud,assert that there is only one God who is divine. These texts do notrecognize other people such as prophets as being divine. These Jewishtexts postulate that there one God is unique and powerful and Jewsacknowledge and belief in only this one God (Newman, 2011). The oneGod is said to be the creator of all things. This is the first formof evidence that Judaism is indeed monotheistic.
Although the Jews acknowledged the presence of other gods in the OldTestament, it is worth noting that the Jews hardly accorded the godsany divine significance. The gods are recognized in Torah for thereason that there were other people in the Old Testament who believedin these gods. In this regard, it is clear that Judaism might haveacknowledged the presence of other gods, but believed and praisedonly one God. Judaism can be regarded as monotheistic since the Jewsonly prayed and sought guidance from one Supreme God (Newman, 2011).The principle foundation of Judaism is one God as it was stipulatedby Abraham. This is clearly indicated in Genesis 14:22. During thetimes of Joshua, Jacob and Moses, idols were destroyed and theIsraelites were warned of worshipping the Idols.
On the contrary, there are arguments that Judaism might not havebeen monotheistic after all. This is because there are some aspectsand statement or evidence that supports this notion. For instance, inTorah, there is the Asherah, who was a Jewish female god (Newman,2011). This is an indication that the Jews might have had more thanone God as the religion proclaims. It is, however, worth noting thatthe value that was accorded to this goddess is not known. There is apossibility that the goddess was not given divine powers.Additionally, there are images of idols that were found in Israel(Newman, 2011). This is an indication that the Jews might have beenworshipping idols. This means that Judaism was polytheistic innature.
Another argument that is against the monotheistic nature of Judaismis the fact that Jesus Christ was recognized and praised by Jews.Jesus is recognized in Judaism as the link to the Father in heaven.This is an indication that the Jews might be praising Jesus Christ.Additionally, the book of Kings indicates that the pre-Abraham Jewswere idol worshippers. In the book of Kings, Elijah is seen fightingwith the idol god Baal (Newman, 2011). This is an indication that theJews indeed praised idols. It is also evident in the book of Exodusthat there were some Jews who were worshipping idols. However, it isessential to note that these Jews were considered as outcasts andpeople who had gone astray.
Whereas there have been people who believe that Islam meanspeace, research has indicated that the word Islam has its root inArabic and the root word is al-Silm which means submission (Lumbardet al., 2012). Some Muslims use the word surrender instead ofsubmission but they both mean one and the same thing. The majorquestion though is what is it that the supporters of Islam submit to?
Muslims are called upon to submit to Allah and his laws. Muslimsview Allah as the Supreme Being and therefore they must submit to hislaws and wisdom. A person can only be considered a true Muslim if heor she submits or surrenders to the laws of Allah (Lumbard et al.,2012). Muslims must submit to the will of Allah through bowing downand praising him alone. The Quran clearly states that God created manfor the sole purpose of praising him. According to Islam, there is noway people can praise and worship God without submitting to him andhis laws. Muslims do his through doing what is right and avoidingwhat is prohibited by Allah. Muslims must also submit to the desiresof Allah and his wills. Submission to Allah is said to be the gatewayto paradise and to eternal peace (Lumbard et al., 2012). People whodo not submit to the will and the desires of Allah will perish inhell under fire. The Muslims are also obliged to submit to thevarious Sharia laws established by Islam. The Sharia laws are saidhave originated from Allah and sent to the people through theprophets and therefore Muslims are suppose to obey them.
Allah has representatives in form of prophets such as ProphetMuhammad. Muslims have a duty to submit to Muhammad since he isconsidered as a representative of Allah. Research has also indicatedthat the Muslims are supposed to submit to their souls. The soulsmake the bodies and they never die (Lumbard et al., 2012). Muslimsare required to submit to their souls, as well as their minds and thebody. It is also evident from research that the Muslims are requiredto submit to the decisions that are made by the messenger of Allahsuch as Prophet Muhammad. Muslims must not have any other opinion butmust abide by the decisions of Allah and the messenger.
Muslims are also required to submit to the principles of Islam whichguide the religion. The principles are divided into seven units.Muslims must admit that Muhammad was a messenger of Allah and submitto him. Muslims are also required to submit to the Quran and all itsteachings as a way of seeking peace with the mind and the soul(Lumbard et al., 2012). Muslims are also required to submit to thebelief that there are angels and there will be a day of resurrection.Additionally, Muslims must also submit to the belief that there willbe judgment day and they must accept pre-destination.
The aspect of submission in Islam is integral to every Muslim. It isworth stating that the Muslims are supposed to have total submissionand are not allowed to hold varying opinions against the will anddemands of Allah (Lumbard et al., 2012). This has brought thereligion under criticism and numerous people argue that the Muslimssubmit to Prophet Muhammad yet he championed the war against otherreligions.
Ames, R. T., & Rosemont, H. (2010). The analects ofConfucius: A philosophical translation. New York:Ballantine Books.
Lumbard, J. E. B., Shakir, Z., Yusuf, H., & Zaytuna Institute.(2012). Submission, faith and beauty: Thereligion of Islam. Berkeley, Calif: Zaytuna Institute.
Newman, C. C. (2011). The Jewish roots of christologicalmonotheism: Papers from the St. Andrews Conference onthe Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus. Leiden [u.a.: Brill.