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Religion and Confucianism

            Religion in its existence inherently acts as a solution and in order for a solution to exist, a problem must occur first. In religion we call this the 'human condition' and it represents the unique characteristics that accompany the act of being human. The idea of the human condition is not something that can be specifically identified in every religion, but rather interpreted. In Confucianism and Taoism life is stated as innately beautiful and all the means for spiritual advancement are encompassed within human beings at birth, but the issue now becomes: if perfection is inherent then where does the problem lie? The problem with the human condition in Confucianism and Taoism lies in people's inability to access the perfection that surrounds them and the solution is enlightenment to the fact that the nature within and around them holds innate spiritual meaning. This idea is shown clearly through the medium of what the religions view our inherent condition as, the idea of becoming spiritual and analysis of counter arguments. The human condition is a complex matter, but there seems to be clear statements made about it in both religions.
             In both Confucianism and Taoism the perfection that is sought out exists in the world around us and is inherently part of nature from within and without. In Confucianism we are seen as being born with the nature of perfection within us, this idea is most evident through the Confucian concept of 'Jen'. 'Jen' is a word used to describe the innate behavior of human beings and it can also be translated as "goodness, benevolence, humanity and human-heartedness" (Kessler 167). The idea of 'goodness' is often seen as a rare character trait or a virtue we would have to work to achieve, but Confucius "transformed it into a universal virtue that makes the perfect human being, the sage" (Kessler 169). This idea of compassion being a universal trait clearly identifies that Confucius believed people were inherently compassionate.

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