Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by QCity Editorial Stuff
Confucianism and Legalism are two schools of thought that originated in China. These two philosophies have many differences, but there are also some similarities. For example, both Confucius and the Legalists believed in rule by law with a strong central government to maintain order. The main difference between these two schools is how strict they were when it comes to following laws.
Confucians believe that people need to be led by their morals for them to be good citizens whereas Legalists think that people will always do what is best for themselves so they need punishments like the death penalty if they break the law.
The two philosophies are similar in some ways and different in others. One similarity is that both philosophers believe in social order and hierarchy while also believing there should be a ruler at the top who has absolute power over everyone else. The difference between these two philosophies lies in how they view human nature: Confucians believe that people can change their nature for better or worse, while Legalists think that people cannot change their natural tendencies because it’s ingrained into them from birth.
Comparison between Confucianism and Legalism
|Parameters of Comparison||Confucianism||Legalism|
|Term||Confucianism is based on the idea that people should be kind and respectful to one another||Legalism believes that people should be ruled by law|
|Believe||Confucianists believe in a hierarchy of family members, where parents are ranked highest and children rank lowest||Legalists believe in a hierarchy of officials with the emperor at the top|
|Rulers||Confucians believe that rulers must maintain virtue||Legalists think they only need to make sure their subjects obey them|
|Leader||In Confucianism, there is no central leader or ruler||Legalism, there’s an all-powerful emperor who controls everything|
|Motivated||In Confucianism, people are motivated by love and affection from their parents as well as social pressure for conformity||In Legalist philosophy, people are motivated by fear of punishment|
What is Confucianism?
Confucianism is a religion and philosophy that is based on the teachings of Confucius. It stresses ethics, morality, and social order. Confucianism has had a significant influence on Chinese culture and society for over 2,000 years. While it is no longer the dominant belief system in China, it still has a following of millions of people.
Confucianism is a philosophical and religious tradition that focuses on personal and social harmony. It has been influential in China and other East Asian countries for centuries. While there are many different interpretations of Confucianism, the core beliefs generally emphasize morality, proper behavior, and social order.
What is Legalism?
Legalism is the belief that one’s efforts are essential for salvation. It is typically associated with a dogmatic concern to follow all of God’s commands, which would include following religious laws and ceremonies in addition to moral ones. Legalism can have an impact on people in any religion or culture.
Legalism has been around since man first started worshipping gods. One example of legalism was when Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son Isaac at God’s request because he believed that this act would please him (Genesis 22). Another example of legalistic beliefs was seen in the Bible during the time of Jesus Christ when people came up with many rules about how they should live their lives (Matthew 23).
10 Differences Between Confucianism and Legalism
1. Confucianism is based on the idea that people should be kind and respectful to one another, while Legalism believes that people should be ruled by law.
2. Confucianists believe in a hierarchy of family members, where parents are ranked highest and children rank lowest, whereas Legalists believe in a hierarchy of officials with the emperor at the top.
3. Confucians believe that rulers must maintain virtue while Legalists think they only need to make sure their subjects obey them.
4. In Confucianism there is no central leader or ruler, but in Legalism, there’s an all-powerful emperor who controls everything.
5. In terms of governance, Confucians want to keep power within families where it belongs while Legalist wants centralized government under one person.
6. The two philosophies have different views on how punishments should be dealt out – for example, if someone commits a crime they would get punished according to a pre-determined punishment system in legalistic beliefs but not so much for Confucius beliefs.
7. In Confucianism, people are motivated by love and affection from their parents as well as social pressure for conformity. In Legalist philosophy, people are motivated by fear of punishment.
8. The goal in Confucian philosophy is to achieve harmony with nature and society through education, ritual observance, self-cultivation, and filial piety.
9. The goal in Legalist philosophy is to maintain order through strict laws enforced by harsh punishments that will keep everyone obedient.
10. In Confucius’ view there should be an orderly progression from childhood to adulthood; it was not possible for anyone who had not reached adulthood to govern others or hold office.
Interesting Statistics or Facts of Confucianism
1. Confucianism is a philosophy that was founded in China by Confucius.
2. The first known mention of the word “Confucian” can be found in a letter written by an unknown individual to King Sejong of Joseon.
3. In Korean, the name for Confucianism is Han-guk-won-go.
4. One of the most important aspects of this philosophy is filial piety or respect for one’s parents and ancestors.
5. It became popular during Korea’s Joseon Dynasty because it helped restore order within society after years of warring states and invasions from Japan, Manchuria, and Mongolia.
6. There are many different schools and sects within Confucianism but they all share similar beliefs about human nature and social relationships.
Interesting Statistics or Facts of Legalism
1. Legalism is the belief that salvation is attained through obedience to the law.
2. In legalism, one’s relationship with God depends on their performance rather than being a gift from Christ.
3. The Bible says no one has been able to keep all of the law and be perfect yet (James 2).
4. Legalists are more concerned about what they do than who they are in Christ.
5. A person can’t please God by doing anything other than trusting Jesus as their Savior
6. Jesus said he didn’t come for those who were well but for those who were sick (Matthew 9).
Confucianism and Legalism are two very different schools of thought in ancient China. Confucians were more concerned with the importance of human feelings, while Legalists focused on rational thinking for governing a country. This led to some significant differences between these philosophies that had impacts on Chinese society today. -According to scholars, “Confucius’s teachings emphasized rites (lǐ) as an expression or extension of social relationships; self-cultivation through study and reflection; leadership by virtue rather than charisma or force; meritocracy based on character, not heredity; male superiority but female equality within marriage and family life; harmony among all people under heaven.