Confucianism is a discipline that puts humanity in perspective. Confucian knowledge helps one to think of the universe in terms of a man being the centre of it all. To a considerable extent, this is true. The present difficulties on earth are predominantly the result of a human conflict and negligence. For a long time, the world has not known peace, and conflicts continue to characterize the human relationship. Confucianism is centred on human interests and achievements. It is concerned with abstract beings. Confucianism is not considered with theological issues; rather it draws all its attention on human affairs. As a matter of fact, the founder of Confucianism, Confucius, was of the thought that the afterlife and the supernatural were beyond human understanding. He insisted that a human being's focus should be on doing right here on earth, rather than focusing on the afterlife and immortality.
Confucianism gets it right; most religions emphasize on the supernatural and the afterlife, and in so doing, they neglect human affairs. Today, in the world as witnessed, religions seem to converge on the virtual of believing in salvation and the afterlife, albeit with differing details on the same. Many religions, if not all, profess peace, but fail terribly in exercising it. The major conflicts today on earth are religiously based. Christians in Germany persecuted Jews (Judaists) in their millions, what has come to be known as the Holocaust (Smith, 1995). Although this was economically influenced, perhaps if they shared the same religion, this would have been mitigated. To date, the Middle East still has unresolved religious conflicts. The Muslims and the Judaists have engaged in one of the most fatal human conflicts in contemporary times. This is over Israel and Jerusalem, a region that both religions claim is holy and their Promised Land (Alexander, 1974). In the American history, the planet has seen Catholics and Protestants engage in war due to their differences in doctrinal teaching (Raab, 1964).
Confucianism understands that the humanity's main goal is the same peace that has eluded religion. Each individual pursues happiness. Happiness without peace is not achievable. It is for this reason that Confucianism emphasizes on the human peaceful coexistence. This is through some five main themes. Confucianism says that war has to be abolished if happiness for humanity is to be realized. In other words, humans should love each other in God's name as opposed to killing each other in God's name.
Confucianism is based on the human logic. That is, dealing with issues in a logic way. In so doing, Confucianism approaches humanity with ethics such as humanness, righteousness, etiquette, knowledge and integrity. Humanness is the ability of an individual to empathize to the other. Even religions advocate for it in terms of the necessity of treating other people in the manner one would like them to treat him or her in turn. This terms altruism such as that exhibited by legends like Mother Teresa. Confucianism considers selfishness and greed as the state of being shallow minded (Smith, 1991). Over and above that Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, advocated that his disciples respected other people's cultures.
Religion fails as it does not apply logic. In addition, people, who profess religion, do not exercise logic and are not practical. Instead of respecting the doctrines of the other religion, they result in conflict. This translates to suffering of both parties. Confucianism has been mistakenly assumed to be a religion due to the fallacy that the discipline has rituals. Confucian rituals encompass virtues such as loyalty, kindness and honesty among others. Confucianism describes ideal human relationships between a ruler and his subjects, friends, parents and their children, and siblings just to mention a few. Confucianism argues that at any point, a single person holds different positions. For instance, one could be a parent, a subject to the ruler and a friend to another parent. Confucianism describes all these relationship and advocates for a reasonable loyalty and benevolence.
In conclusion, Confucianism is a way of life, not a religion. It describes human relationships and casts a blind spot on theological teachings such as supernatural beliefs of the afterlife and immortality.