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AP 101: Chang Lecture Response

Course: Introduction to Apologetics
Professor: Dr. William Edgar
Semester: 2016 Fall
Grade: Thoughtful

Chang Lecture Response I

         In the lecture, Joanny Chang focuses on the topic of Confucian ethics, and she discusses the development of Confucianism in ancient China chronologically. I will demonstrate that strictly speaking, Confucianism is not a religion, and then I will critique the worldview of Confucianists. To begin with, as for me, even though the system of Confucianism seems religious (and superficially speaking of Confucianism, it even has some notions in common with Christianity, such as the notion and the consciousness of heaven as believed by kings of the Zhou dynasty), it is not a religion. In fact, Confucianism focuses more on the teaching of the moral principles, and there are many different opinions and worldviews within the circle of Confucianism. Additionally, there is one thing that I can be sure about, that is, the worldview of Confucianists is either humanist, atheist, or a mix of philosophical perspectives, and obviously its worldview is not Christian. Consequently, we should make a clear distinction between Confucianism and Christianity.        

Chang Lecture Response II

         In this lecture, Joanny Chang focuses on the topic of Confucian ethics. She begins her lecture with a discussion on the ethical components of Confucianism; furthermore, she presents us with the debate on human nature among Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi. My purpose is to point out where the Confucian perspective and that of the Xunzian distort the Christian perspective on the nature of human beings. In my opinion, from a Christian perspective, I resonate with ancient Confucianists that on the one hand, human beings have some sense of benevolence, ritual, and filial piety; on the other hand, I do not totally disapprove of the perspective of Xunzi on his doctrine of man when he says that the nature of human beings is originally bad. However, if I take the Confucian and the Xunzi doctrine of man into consideration with the Christian perspective, I find that there are many places where the Confucian and Xunzian is perspective different from that of the Christian. Specifically, the Confucian and the Xunzian polarize either the good nature of man or the bad nature of man, and both of them are too optimistic about the power of human beings.  


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