Guns in Confucianist societies


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DeseoUnTaco
August 30, 2005, 03:06 AM
One interesting thing is that it seems like guns are treated the same way in all the Confucianist societies: almost 100% ban. The Confucianist societies are: PRC, Taiwan, the Koreas, Japan and Singapore. I haven't done research on the exact laws, but it seems like in all these countries, guns are either 99% banned (Japan) or 100% banned (Taiwan, etc). Is anyone doing any philosophical work on a new way of thinking about guns for Confucianists? It seems like they need some deep changes in how they think about hierarchy and the role of the individual before they could start reforming their gun laws.

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CARRY'IN
August 30, 2005, 03:09 AM
It seems like they need some deep changes in how they think about hierarchy and the role of the individual before they could start reforming their gun laws.

Dont even presume to say what they need. East is east and west is west; maybe you should address the problems here first- yathink?

M-Rex
August 30, 2005, 03:26 AM
I suspect it is the natural evolution of the deeply rooted traditional caste societies in each one of these countries, more than any type of leftist social engineering. Japan being the most obvious example with the Samurai. The 'lower' castes were forbade arms because it was considered to be an honor reserved for warriors. I assume that translates to the warrior castes of the other countries, though I admit, I'm not certain.

CARRY'IN
August 30, 2005, 03:54 AM
it seems like guns are treated the same way in all the Confucianist societies

It just seems that way. Actually, they are, and always have been treated the same way almost everywhere on earth; not tolerated except when there was a need for them. There are still some places that have or had some wilderness left where longarms are common but except in North America and a few latin countries, handguns are not popular. You are connecting a lack of firearms to a certain cultural influence and there is no connection. We are a very unique nation. The samurai are not a very good example; though the Japanese are proud of certain aspects of that part of their history, they were happy to be rid of those psychopaths. Really.

M-Rex
August 30, 2005, 04:03 AM
Respectfully, I disagree. Using Japan as an example: It has been tradition that the 'lower castes' have never been allowed any type of weaponry. That honor being reserved for the ruling/warrior class. There never was the clamor for arms because the feudal lords were pretty good at protecting their peasantry. Fast forward a few hundred years, and Japan is '99%-firearms-ban' country. I think this is more so because regular folks simply never really had any desire to gain arms. Contrast this to the history of the United States where breakaway from tyranny, and the individualist mindset walked hand in hand for a couple of hundred years. This Confucionist tradition simply carried over, and unfortunately, dove-tailed into the socialist/leftist anti-firearm worldview.

At least, that's my theory.

CARRY'IN
August 30, 2005, 04:16 AM
It has been tradition that the 'lower castes' have never been allowed any type of weaponry. That honor being reserved for the ruling/warrior class. There never was the clamor for arms because the feudal lords were pretty good at protecting their peasantry.

Better read up. Only the samurai could wear the long sword, civilians could wear short swords for protection when traveling. The samurai repeatedly fought some pretty nasty century long feuds with various militant buddhist sects who prefered, and carried, spears and pole-weapons. There was never a clamor for arms because japan is an overpopulated island and you cant get away with violent crime in those closed communities. There was no "protecting" their peasantry- they abused and exploited them just as all castes systems do. There is not alot of confucian influence in Japanese society compared to buddhist and shinto. If there was then the "warrior class" would be at the bottom as they were in China and eventually in Korea. Confucious was like aesops fables- just rules to live by you learned in songs and stories. You have been watching too many samurai movies.

M-Rex
August 30, 2005, 04:22 AM
:banghead:

I give up. You win.

CARRY'IN
August 30, 2005, 04:25 AM
I think this is more so because regular folks simply never really had any desire to gain arms. Contrast this to the history of the United States where breakaway from tyranny, and the individualist mindset walked hand in hand for a couple of hundred years.

Dont give up so easy. You were right about the rest of it. :confused:

Moonclip
August 30, 2005, 05:54 AM
Guns to tend to be a cultural thing it seems. I live in an area with many Indian immigrants and I've only met like two at the range or at a gunshop in my whole life.

Michigander
August 30, 2005, 07:55 AM
Wasn't there something about peasants using their farming tools as weapons?

Solo
August 30, 2005, 08:29 AM
As far as I know, Confucianism is a philosophy, not a system of government.


I found the following article interesting, as it relates Confucianism and martial arts.


Martial Arts and Confucian Culture

Mapping the influence of Confucius on Kung Fu
by Wang Wenhuang

Around 140 BC Dong Zhongshu advised Emperor Wu that Confucianism should be the only ruling ideology. For centuries thereafter, Confucianism dominated traditional Chinese culture. Kung fu was a part of this culture. As one of the most valuable legacies in China, kung fu was affected by Confucianism in both positive and negative ways.

Confucianism and Martial Arts
Its founder, Confucius, was a great thinker and educator. Not only did he found Confucianism, he saw to the spread of martial arts - long reserved for the Emperor and his officials - to the common people.

Confucius was not the weak intellectual we normally imagine, "who has no force to catch a chicken." As recorded in the ancient books "History" and "Lu Shi Chun Qou," Confucius was as tall as 1.9 m. He was so strong that he could lift the big gate of a city in ancient China. It is obvious that he was strong and tall, brave and courageous. Skilled at shooting arrows and riding horses, he practiced and taught six arts: rites, music, archery, charioting, reading and writing and arithmetic. Of these, archery and charioting fall into the domain of martial arts. He defined five different ways of archery and five kinds of charioting. Not only paying attention to academic education, Confucius regarded martial arts as an important link in developing the personality of his students. His criteria for education was, "Well-versed in both polite letters and martial arts". As a result, some of his students -- such as Yan Chou, Zi Lu and Yan Ruo -- were good at both academic knowledge and martial arts.

The Confucian intellectuals were also proud of carrying swords and dancing with swords. For example, the famous poets Qu Yuan and Li Bai liked carrying swords and often danced with swords in front of friends and wrote poems admiring the spirit of martial arts. In this way martial arts ran parallel to Confucianism in ancient China.

The famous poet Qu Yuan Confucianism and Martial Morality
In ancient China, people admired both martial skills and morality. The term "martial morality" first appeared in the book "Zuo Zhuan." Martial morality refers to the relationship between schools and martial artists as well as the relationship between martial arts and society.

Martial morality is deeply colored by the core of Confucianism: "Ren," which means love of all. Ren encompasses a very broad idea of morality, upon which the Chinese martial morality has been constructed. Those who want to practice martial arts must first learn the morality of martial arts, because there is no martial art without morality. When masters came to choose their students, they would first consider carefully the morality of the person and after that the body conditioning and talent. As another example of the importance of morality in martial arts, there are many different schools of martial arts, with various theories and practices; but they all share the first chapter in their works: Morality of Martial Arts. Most schools have very strict rules prohibiting the teaching of people who are evil, dangerous, alcoholic, or with criminal leanings.

Besides "Ren," another fundamental principle of martial morality is "Li," which means "etiquette that fetters the thoughts and actions." In modern words, it means the rules of behavior. Therefore, courtesy, modesty, tolerance and forbearance are the basic ethics of Confucianism, which become the martial morality of all schools of martial arts. In martial arts competition, masters follow the idea of "etiquette first, fighting second" and "nearly touch and stop" so that the partner will not be severely injured.

Mapping the spread of Confucianism throughout China and Korea

In Conclusion
Confucianism has greatly influenced martial arts in both positive and negative ways. For example, the sense of competition is not as strong as in western sports, and there is always a lack of communication between different schools, as well as many secrets, some of which have been buried in the tomb. What is more, there are many conflicts between different schools, which leads to quarrels and disunity.

With the growing trend towards globalization, Chinese martial arts will soon belong to all human beings, along with the reasonable part of Confucianism, combining the twin ideals of peace on the earth and friendship among all men.

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