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Faith & Belief
Mohist Philosophy
01/11/2008 23:43:38    Author : Jeff    Browse : 887

Founded by Mo Di (usually known as Mozi), Mohism, or Moism, is a Chinese philosophy that evolved at the same time as Confucianism in the Warring States Period (475-221BC). Mo Di"s philosophy was described in the book Mozi, compiled by his students from lecture notes.

Mohism and Confucianism are considered renowned schools in ancient Chinese philosophy. Though also rooted in the cultural tradition of the Western Zhou Dynasty (about 11th century -771BC) like Confucianism, Mohism focused on the importance and methods of "doing good for the society" and "removing the bad things from society."
The theoretic premise for this notion is Mozi"s famous thought of universal love -- an equal affection for all individuals. This universal love is what makes people good. The advocacy of universal love was a target of attack by other schools, most notably the Confucians, who believed, for example, that children should hold a greater love for their parents than for random strangers.
Meanwhile, Mozi, the founder of Mohism, thinks that the wisdom and power of heaven and god greatly surpasses that of ancient saint. Heaven can punish and is a force to encourage moral righteousness.
In Mohism, morality is not defined by tradition, but rather by a constant moral guide that parallels utilitarianism. Traditionalism is inconsistent, and humans need an extra-traditional, supernatural guide to identify which traditions are acceptable. The moral guide must then promote and encourage social behaviors that maximize general utility.
The social philosophy of Mohists is aggressive and enterprising. Their usual attitude is "If I can"t do it, who can?" Not only do they discuss universal love and condemn aggression in the relationships among countries, families, and individuals, they also participate in various anti-war movements and social constructions. Mohist philosophers also strive to realize their ideal of an equal and harmonious world. From the perspective of a common citizen, they also contribute to the simple and conservative trend in Chinese philosophy by underlying thrift, prudence, and stopping waste.
Mohism was the only school of thought that could contend with Confucianism during the Warring States Period. Though the thought is not as longstanding or well established as Confucianism, its propositions like centralized political power, universal love, anti-war, anti-extravagance sociological notions, respect for heaven and gods, and indeterminism in religious thoughts, as well as Mozi"s rational and practical attitude in science have all left their marks in Chinese philosophy and people"s daily lives.
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