Mo Song, well trained in the art

            Mo Zi is one of the greatest
philosophers in China. Though people do not usually hear of his name, he was
said to be comparable to the great Kong Zi or famously known as Confucius.
There is only very little information about Mo Zi. In the book of Co (1992), he
claimed that little is known about Mo Zi that even the Grand Historian, Si Ma
Qian, only wrote a brief remark about him saying that “Mo Zi was a minister of
the state of Song, well trained in the art of defense and fortification, and
practiced economy. Some say that he was a contemporary of Kong Zi, while others
say that he lived after Kong Zi” (p.172). Although some of the details about Mo
Zi’s life are uncertain, modern scholars generally believe that he was active
from the late 5th to the early 4th centuries B.C.E.,
before the time of the Confucian philosopher Mencius. This information places
him in the early Warring States period (403-221 B.C.E.) of the ancient Chinese
history (Loy, n.d.). According to Co (1992), he was born nine years after the
death of Kong Zi and died nineteen years before of the birth of Meng Zi and
that like Confucius, Mo Zi was a native of the state of Lu. He also mentioned
that Mo Zi’s given name was Di and that he was a contemporary of Socrates, the
Father of Greek philosophy.  Some sources
had implied that Mo Zi, according to tradition, was originally a follower of
the teachings of Confucius but later on, he rebelled against their ideas and
developed his own view of the ideal society and how to achieve it. He became convinced
that Confucianism laid too much emphasis on a burdensome code of rituals and
too little on religious teachings like the luxurious and elaborate funeral
practices that consumed too much of the state treasury and impoverished the
multitude. Thus, one distinction between the two philosophers was that
Confucius, from all accounts, was aristocratic by temperament and orientation.
He also dreamed of a return of the calm and peaceful days of pomp and splendor
at the beginning of the Zhou dynasty. On the other hand, Mo Zi was drawn to the
common people and looked much farther back to a life of primitive simplicity
and straightforwardness in human relations. (Ames & Mei, 2017)

            Moreover, Co (1992) also said that
Mo Zi’s emergence into intellectual and moral supremacy outshone other
philosophers of his age            and
that he became the most dangerous rival of Kong Zi. Contrary to other
perceptions, Co (1992) claimed that Mo Zi was the true rival of China’s first
philosopher not Lao Zi. He also said that “Mo Zi was a militant philosopher who
did not preach from his ivory tower, but saw to it that his ideas were put into
concrete form” (p. 172). Even if his mind displayed a kind of military rigidity
and that he has a tendency to simplify, he was unquestionably a skillful
logician and an experienced and seasoned dialectician and well versed and
widely read in the tradition of the Chinese Classics. That was why he was
mostly sought by various rulers as an expert in fortification, even though he
did not hold a high official position. (Co, 1992)  Mo Zi, in the hope of meeting a prince who
would allow him to put his teachings into practice, traveled from one feudal
state to another. But in the end, he had to be content with maintaining a
school and recommending his disciples for administrative positions because of
the absence of such a prince. He very much commanded respect from people partly
because he lived a very simple life and he was known as a teacher who took his
own teachings seriously. Thus, he managed to attract a large following during
his lifetime which rivaled that of Confucius. He very much condemned offensive
war that’s why he led his followers to distant states to prevent the outbreak
of wars by reinforcing the defending state. (Ames & Mei, 2017)

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Because
of Mo Zi’s militancy in seeing to it that his ideas were brought into action,
he organized his followers into a strong militant force to prove the
workability of his doctrine. According to Co (1992), he succeeded in organizing
a highly organized quasi-religious and military community. This group was
overseen by a “Grand Master” or what they call as “Zhu Zi” and this leader
could command absolute authority over the followers. It was somehow equivalent
to that of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The only distinction is that,
more than the Pope; he had absolute control and command over their actions and
their lives. All of the members of this group were firmly taught the spirit of
self-sacrifice for the betterment of the multitude. They were also
indoctrinated to prize Yi or righteousness, to help one another in adversity,
to work diligently, to go without, to endure discomfort and to brave all for
the sake of the community. Mo Zi can be also said to be the forerunner of the
wandering champions of the poor, the unfortunate and the virtuous. This group
despised all offers of honor and wealth. Most of Mo Zi’s followers were humble
of origin like the farmers, weavers of straw sandals, carpet-makers and other
cottage craftsmen. They were the people who were not cushioned against the
rough edges of life unlike the lords above the society, to whom his doctrine
was primarily directed. His philosophy and followers seriously threatened the
Confucian disciples and stood as the strongest rivals of Kong Zi for over two
centuries. (Co, 1992)

Mohism
was an influential philosophical, social, and religious movement that
flourished during the Warring States era in ancient China. Mohism originates in
the teachings of Mo Di, or “Mo Zi” from whom it takes its name. Mo Zi and his
followers were the first in the tradition to engage, like Socrates in ancient
Greece, in an explicit, reflective search for objective moral standards and to
give step-by-step, tightly reasoned arguments for their views, though their
reasoning is sometimes simplistic or rests on doubtful assumptions. (Fraser,
2002)

x

Hi!
I'm Joan!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out