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Megan Vignola 2009 Christ the King R. H. S.

Chapter 4 Essay

November 9, Global- Period 2

Religions can greatly influence the development of people in regions where they originate. Several have influenced the people in China and India. Two of them are Buddhism and Confucianism. Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Guatama, in order to reform Hinduism. Confucianism is considered more of a philosophy rather than a religion, but its teachings were practiced by many people. However, Confucian beliefs were not accepted until after the death of Confucius; the founder. Buddhism had similar beliefs to Hinduism, but others were different. One major difference was their view of the caste system. The Buddhist religion strongly rejected the caste system because they thought it was unfair that all people werent allowed to do or be certain things. The Buddhists goal in life was to reach nirvana, or in other words, be released form the cycle of death and rebirth. This could not be reached in one lifetime. Finally, the basic teachings of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths. 1-Suffering is universal, 2- The cause of suffering is desire, 3- The way to end suffering is to eliminate desire, and 4- To eliminate desire, one must follow the Eightfold Path. Once desire was eliminated, suffering was no longer there and one had reached nirvana. Overall, Buddhism believed in nonviolence and was a very compassionate and loving religion. Since Buddhism was an effort to reform Hinduism, there were parts of the religion that greatly influenced the culture and lifestyle of people in China and India. Some believed that Hinduism was too strict with the caste system and wanted something more peaceful.

Buddhism was founded because Siddhartha Guatama saw a gruesome battle and saw that humans were suffering. The Buddhist religion offers love and calmness so the mind can be free of all anger once nirvana has been reached. Their culture was more laid-back because Buddhism was less strict. Confucianism was a philosophy founded by Confucius, a Chinese thinker. He stressed 5 key relationships that were supposed to be present in society. 1-Father to son, 2- Elder brother to younger brother, 3- Husband to wife, 4- Ruler to subject, and 5- Friend to friend. In all relationships except friend to friend, 2nd person always looked up to the first. The eldest male was always superior. Filial piety was also a large part of Confucius teachings. Respecting parents was the highest or main priority among all other duties. Lastly, Confucius thought that knowledge was extremely important. He believed government leaders and officials should be well educated. After Confucius died, his ideas influenced much of Chinese life. His teachings were practiced during the Han Dynasty from 207 BC through AD 220. From his love of education, the Civil Service Exam was established. People of China had to take the exam in order to hold a job as a government official. The culture in China, especially the way society was set up, was very different from other civilizations. Merchants held the lowest position because they never gave anything to help other. They just made money. Therefore, people who were merchants were not allowed to take the exams. Confucianism and Buddhism are only two religions that influenced the life and culture of people in China and India, but they both played a large part in the development of people in the regions where they originated.