For Confucians, Tao was an ethical or moral way, but for Taoists it was the way of nature as a whole. Taoists thought that Confucians emphasized the importance of man too much and didn't pay enough attention to natural things like time and change, gain and loss, the useful and the useless. For example, the practice of ritual of Confucians was opposed to nature. Taoists believe that each person should develop his or her own power that is received from the Tao.
The main philosophy of Tao is inaction or non-action, which means doing nothing unnaturally. Taoists think that since human life only takes up a little part within the whole of nature, then we should act in harmony with nature. In this way, we will be able to reject the mortal ideas or standards which are the root causes of violence and aggression in the world. Taoists favor the spontaneous and simple. Desire is a big sin in Taoism. For Taoism, a good government should not be noticed by the people who simply follow nature.
The two famous people in Taoism are Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. Confucius visited Lao Tzu in order to receive some advice about philosophy. Lao Tzu was the keeper of the imperial archives but he left China for the West in his old age. He wrote a book called Tao Te Ching and this was where Taoism got its name. Chuang Tzu placed emphasis on the ideas of individuality and freedom. He was a very important fountain of inspiration to Chinese artists. He liked to tell stories in order to explain the truth, and he carried forward the thoughts of Lao Tzu. Taoism and Confucianism are opposite to each other, and represent the different spirit of Chinese culture.