2. On a superficial reading, it is easy to claim that Confucianism demands too much personal sacrifice and that it compromises one’s personal freedom. If you think this is an unfair criticism (which it could be, according to the Confucius of Analects), defend Confucianism against this criticism. (That is, explain how Confucianism could respond that persons really don’t “sacrifice” their freedom.) If you think this is a fair criticism, explain in what way.
3. On a superficial reading, it is easy to say that Confucianism is regressive and therefore not conducive to innovative changes in cultural practices. Do you think Confucianism can accommodate the ideas of “cultural change” and “innovation?” If you think it is possible, explain how so. If you think it is not possible, explain how the theory excludes such a possibility.
2. Taoism is often criticized as being too “quietist,” too “disengaged,” or “anti-social,” i.e., not showing passion or concrete socio-political engagement in favor of “letting the Tao take care of itself.” Develop a counter-argument to this sort of criticism, if you believe this is an unfair characterization. Explain why it is not a quietist doctrine.
2. If you are to present a social criticism of our culture today (meaning in the U.S., in 2002) using Confucianism and Taoism, what are some of the claims you would make, and what would be your arguments? (You could use either Confucianism OR Taoism, but see if you could use both.)
3. What, in your view, are some of the most striking differences between Confucianism/Taoism vs. aspects of Western philosophy? Explain. (Again, you can take EITHER Conf or Taoism)