Mo Tzu's Peace Philosophy
Mo-tzu, original name MO TI, also spelled MOTZE, MOTSE, or MICIUS, Chinese philosopher whose fundamental doctrine of universal love challenged Confucianism for several centuries and became the basis of a religious movement known as Mohism. Mo Tsu was the founder of Moism and lived in Shan Dong province, China.
Mo-tzu lived in the fifth century BC after the death of Confucius. He studied under the scholars of the growing Confucian school, but he became an independent religious teacher with several hundred devoted disciples who were willing to follow him anywhere. Followers of Moism are strict self-rulers, and are opposed to the ideas of Confucianism.
Born a few years after Confucius' death, Mo-tzu was raised in a period when the feudal hierarchy instituted at the beginning of the Chou dynasty (12th or 11th century BC to 255 BC) was swiftly disintegrating and China was divided into small, constantly warring, feudal states. This period is called as 'Warring States period'. He thus confronted the problem that faced all thinkers in 5th-century BC China: how to bring political and social order out of chaos.
Living ascetically and preaching universal love he criticized the Confucian philosophy for its excessive use of rituals, elaborate funerals and music, and what he believed to be its fatalism. Moism challenged Confucianism for prominence in China for two hundred years until it was somehow demolished during the violent Ch'in State.
The central idea of Moism is to "love everyone as you love yourself". Mo Tsu believed that if everyone could do that, the world would be at peace. Moists believed that universal love was important. They thought that everyone should love each other, unlike the Confucians' five basic relationships.
Perhaps Mo-tzu's philosophy of universal love without distinction was too idealistic for a culture that was so loyal to family ties.
Mo-tzu and his disciples traveled from place to place preaching and attempting to prevent wars. When Mo-tzu heard that Kung Shu Pan had constructed ladders so that he could attack the small state of Sung, he walked ten days and ten nights, tearing off pieces of his garment to wrap his feet, in order to talk with Kung Shu Pan. Mo-tzu began by asking Kung Shu Pan to kill someone in the north who had humiliated him.
Kung Shu Pan declared that murder was against his principles.
Whereupon Mo-tzu bowed in apology and explained that for a ruler of a large state to attack a small and innocent state was also against the principle of killing. When Kung Shu Pan argued that he had already promised his king he would attack. He asked the king why one who has so much would try to steal from one who has little.
The king mentioned the ladders, but Mo-tzu laid out a model city and showed how he could defend the city with only a small stick against Kung Shu Pan's machines. Aware that the king was thinking he could murder him, Mo-tzu declared that three hundred of his disciples were waiting on the city wall of Sung with implements of defense. Even though Mo-tzu might be killed, the city could not be taken. Thereupon the king decided not to attack the city any more.