Confucius was a humanist and an agnostic.
On the basis of biological, sociological, and historical knowledge, we should recognize that the individual self is subject to death or decay, but the sum total of individual achievement, for better or worse, lives on in the immortality of The Larger.
Practically all the prominent leaders of thought in China today are openly agnostics and even atheists.
No student of Chinese history can say that the Chinese are incapable of religious experience, even when judged by the standards of medieval Europe or pious India.
And lastly, the political revolutions from 1911 to the present time have done more to bring about tremendous social changes everywhere than even the economic and industrial changes and the new schools.
The Jesuits had learned that a Christian mission to China could never succeed if it were not in a position to show and convince the Chinese intelligentsia of the superiority of the European culture.