Zhang Tai Yan said that in terms of moral virtue, even Confucius and Laozi cannot compare to Mozi.
Mozi travelled from one crisis zone to another throughout the ravaged landscape of the Warring States, trying to dissuade rulers from their plans of conquest.
For the modern juvenile audience of Chinese speakers, the image of his school and its founder were popularized by the animated TV series The Legend of Qin.
Most historians believe that Mozi was a member of the lower artisan class who managed to climb his way to an official post.
When Gongshu Ban threatened him with death, Mozi informed the king that his disciples had already trained the soldiers of Song in his fortification methods, so it would be useless to kill him. On the way back, however, the soldiers of Song, not recognizing him, would not allow Mozi to enter their city, and he had to spend a night freezing in the rain.
After this episode, he also stopped the state of Qi from attacking the state of Lu.
He observed that we often learn about the world through adversity ("Embracing Scholars" in Mozi).
His philosophy emphasized self-restraint, self-reflection and authenticity rather than obedience to ritual.
According to the chapter "Gongshu" in Mozi, he once walked for ten days to the state of Chu in order to forestall an attack on the state of Song.
At the Chu court, Mozi engaged in nine simulated war games with Gongshu Ban, the chief military strategist of Chu, and overturned each one of his stratagems.
After all, he pointed out, what we think of as "ancient" was actually innovative in its time, and thus should not be used to hinder present-day innovation ("Against Confucianism, Part 3" in the Mozi).
Though Mozi did not believe that history necessarily progresses, as did Han Fei Zi, he shared the latter's critique of fate (命, mìng).
("Against Fate, Part 3") This was the "three-prong method" Mozi recommended for testing the truth or falsehood of statements.