Confucianism and Taoism have always been the two dominating trends of thought in China. They were first conceived more than 2400 years ago respectively by Confucius and Laozi. At about the same time, in Greece there were three philosophers in succession. They were Socrates (469-399BC), Plato (427-347BC), and Aristotle (384-322BC). Their philosophies have as great impact on the western world as Confucianism and Taoism in China.
Though appeared almost the same time, they were created for different reasons. Take China’s history into consideration, we conclude three main reasons for which Confucius and Laozi created their philosophy: first, to educate the descendants; second, to give advice to kings about how to rule the country; third, to moralize the people. While the three philosophers in Greece simply wanted to express their own thoughts. They tried to illustrate what they thought to the common people by simple words. It was more about individual opinions.
Besides the differences between the two groups of philosophy, we also find similarities in them. Both of the two groups studied nature and society. What is more amazing is that Laozi and Plato had almost the same idea about the ideal society.
In Laozi's theory, the right way to rule a country is to strengthen people's bodies so that they could do more work and simplify their minds so that they would content with their positions. In his mind the ideal citizens of a society is the humblest, the most unwise and ignorant ones, while the most intelligent ones should see to that. He believed if ordinary people always stay ignorant, there would be no riot and the rulers need not do anything to keep their authority. The whole world would be a better place.
Plato divided human beings into 3 kinds based on their innate intelligence, strength, and courage. Producers who are not bright, or strong, or brave, are suited to various productive professions: farming, smithing, building, etc. guards who are somewhat...