Home Discussion Forum Does China get stronger roots from Buddhist/Taoist religion or Confucian philosophy?

Does China get stronger roots from Buddhist/Taoist religion or Confucian philosophy?

Considering that there is some non-scientific superstition and even some karma/dharma afterlife talk involved in Buddhism/Taoism I’ll consider them religions. Confucianism is more a philosophy. Does China get more roots from it’s philosophy or religions? I’d argue it gets more from its Confucian roots. Buddhism/Taoism came later.


  1. At least in the past i know Confusianism was the most popular. Like aan ok amount of money would be on the ground and no one would pick it up for weeks, it would be there waiting for the person who dropped it. Still, follow Jesus.

  2. Taoism doesn’t have any afterlife talk, if I remember correctly. Religious Taoism might, but there’s a difference between philosophical Taoism and religious Taoism. Religious Taoists believe in a lot of nonsense that philosophical Taoists wouldn’t necessarily subscribe to (like fortunetelling, spirit-writing, and all the gods they worship).
    I think I agree with you about the Confucian influence (mostly because Confucianism emphasizes relationships and also influenced Taoism to a large degree), but all three philosophies/religions have contributed a great deal to Chinese society.

  3. You forgot ancestor worship and a hundred other beliefs.
    The symbolism behind the Chinese dragon is quite interesting. The dragon has horns and scales, wings and others parts… Each represent a group of people who would eventually rise up to form the Chinese people as one unified whole. Also, the dragon is often pictured arising out of the water, as though agriculture is the force that gave rise to this union of different people.
    Although Buddhism is originally from India, Chen Buddhism, which is more practised in China definitely takes on a Taoist flavour, from a philosophy which is distinct to China. If you delve deeper into Karma and the afterlife, I think you will find that they are philosophical as well as metaphysical concepts. For instance, scholars who discuss the idea of the afterlife in Buddhism note that there is no way to understand what such an afterlife will be like. There is no cartesian ego which survives the continuous flow of existence. In fact, the absence of such an ego is what makes the concept possible. Death is just another state if you’re not too attached to how your senses make you perceive the world right now.
    But to answer your question, I think it is a false question. One of the most fascinating characteristics of Chinese culture is its ability to absorb things and make them Chinese. It is the dragon, ever-rising. China did expand through conquest, but mostly through sheer force of number and by just absorbing people around it. Also, don’t forget that contrary to westerners, Chinese people seldom see any problem with adherence to many belief systems. Many are Taoists and Confucianists and Buddhists and participate in ancestor worship. The lines are a lot more blury in the Orient, where the dialectical mind was never given the honoured status it has in the west.

  4. i was thinking the same thing…Buddhism and Taoism came later into the picture….Confucianism certainly helped China evolve throughout the ages..but then again, the major of China’s population is now Buddhist or some form of it…

  5. During the Spring and Autumn Period (722 BC and 481 BC), it was in this period when Confucius (lived 551-479 BC) traveled around the modern day China, and gave lectures to Kings and Dukes to express his management philosophy for a well run government.
    It was told Confucius studied for sometimes under Lao Zi when he was a young man, there are numerous variations of a story depicting Confucius consulting Lao Zi about rituals.
    Confucius was unable to push his ideal onto the Rulers of Kingdoms and Dukedoms, so he made his living as teacher, and he died as a well known teacher without political clout; but he promoted teaching without regard of his students castes and ranking, therefore he had a lot of students, and many later became great scholars and great politicians.
    His teachings formally adopted by an Emperor of Han Dynasty, as being most suitable for his Empire, because Confucianism promoted respect of ruling rights of the Emperor, respect the elders, the social stability and order, strong families ties, and practical living. And every Emperor of all other Dynasties follow suit by respected his teaching as well as promoted the Confucianism as being important to stablize their own Empires.
    Taoism Integrated with Buddhism to form the basis and the underline believes of Chinese Faith, which is crossed and with acceptance of theories of both Taoism and Buddhism.
    So they all became the back bone of what Chinese value as important, both in this world with practicality of Confucianism, moral value and human decency with Taoism and Buddhism.


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