We have two options here, and both lead to a dark corridor for the author If we accept that religion is something similar to the relation between men and God(s), and that morality cannot exist without religion, how can we explain Confucianism? It surely lacks an idea of “religion” in the Christian sense, even if it could be equaled, in some way, with the “religio” of Cicero (for example, the word “li” for “rituals” could be understood in a similar way); it has a “moral,” indeed, and no trace of the supernatural can be found in his traditions (and even if we can talk about Gods or demigods in Confucian traditions, moral does not actually depend on them).
There are some interesting criticisms of Christian morality by Neo-Confucian thinkers in Korea. Neo-Chonfucianism like to emphasize morality for morality's sake, and not for God's sake. This was made very clear in one speech made by an Neo-Confucian official: "The Christians always talk about hell and heaven...If a person is truly moral, they would not need a God to punish or award them. This rests on fear and only the small man follows this. The sages do good without concern of what will happen to them after they die, and hence they are truly moral by nature...if the Christian god exist, and has morals, then he shouldn't require people to believe in him in the first place, since the good should naturally be awarded because they are good, not because they believe in God."
Edited by Borjigin Ayurbarwada, 24 March 2011 - 12:00 AM.