There are two conflicting positions on human nature. Chinese scholar Hsun Tzu believed that man’s nature is evil and when adult male acts “good” it is merely the consequence of what he called “conscious activity. ” In the text. he describes witting activity as “the portion [ of adult male ] that can be acquired by larning and brought to completion by attempt. ” In other words. Hsun Tzu believed that adult male is of course selfish. and that unless there are regulations and rules put in topographic point to steer work forces away from his natural dispositions. society would disintegrate into pandemonium and force.
Mencius. another Chinese bookman and fellow pupil of Confucius. believed the antonym. He thought that human nature is finally good and that people learn to be evil from assorted influences and experiences in their life. After reading both essays. it was highly hard for me to make up one’s mind which writer I agreed with. Hsun Tzu’s essay was a direct unfavorable judgment of the essay written by Mencius and there were some really good illustrations of why he believed adult male is evil. However. in the terminal. my pick was to travel with my instinctual belief that human nature is inherently good.
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If man’s nature were evil. no adult male would be able to come up with the constructs of rites and rules. Hsun Tzu tries to rebut this is his essay. but I did non believe his account made sense at all. Based on the two essays I read and my experiences in life in general. it is my sentiment that human nature is finally good. Wikipedia defines human nature as “the separating characteristics… that humans tend to hold of course. i. e. . independently of the influence of civilization.
” Mencius likened human nature to the nature of H2O. Human nature is inherently good like H2O of course flows downhill. However. human nature can be distorted merely like H2O can be manipulated to act in a manner that is neither normal to it nor expected of it. When Mencius asserts that human nature is good. by “good” he means non that most people are good. but that immorality is an anomalousness. The fact that we have the capableness to be good is what makes us good. I have ever believed that people are born good.
What happens to an person over the class of clip along with 1s ingrained beliefs. values. and attitudes influences the picks that individual will do and what sort of a individual they will go. Mencius believed that evil couldn’t be blamed on congenital capacities. I agree with this statement. A individual could turn up to be a consecutive slayer. but I don’t believe that that same person is capable of immorality at two old ages old. or even five. Even antisocial inclinations as a adolescent can non be considered evil. although they may be the foundation of a series of actions and events that will finally organize the thought that this is an evil individual.
Further. the person who grows up to be a consecutive slayer has about surely had events transpire in his life that damaged him and put him on the way to going a consecutive slayer instead than. state. an comptroller. Mencius discussed the difference between benevolence and righteousness. Harmonizing to an entry about Mencius in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. benevolence is fundamentally concern for others and a love for fellow human existences. Mencius believed that benevolence is an intrinsic portion of human nature and that. as worlds. we can non bear to see another human agony.
Mencius said that when an single sees a little kid autumn into a well. our natural inclination is to panic. to experience anxiousness. and to seek to deliver the kid. We don’t make this because we want acknowledgment from the child’s parents or because we want to heighten our reputes. as Hsun Tzu would state that we do. We try to salvage the kid because it is in our nature. Mencius believed that all worlds possess certain qualities that are the kernel of the human status. The qualities are benevolence. righteousness. ritual properness. and wisdom.
All worlds have unconditioned feelings of compassion. feelings of disdain. beliefs about what is or isn’t deserving of regard. and categorical criterions for what we approve of and what we disapprove of. These unconditioned feelings are the footing for the qualities of the human status. severally. Although Mencius considered human nature to be inherently good. he did non deny the being of immorality. He believed that society influenced people in a manner that could ensue in the development of immorality. In his essay. he referred to cases of malevolent swayers and how the general consensus about the young person was that they were violent and foolhardy.
Mencius believed that these immature people acted this manner because they were under the government of a oppressive dictator. More late. an illustration of the same sort of behaviour occurred in Egypt last twelvemonth when the Egyptian people were highly unhappy with their leader and demonstrated that by take parting in public violences and taking on constabulary and military. I believe that evil develops when hapless fortunes meet with a weak personality. Two people can come from the same background and have similar experiences yet turn out wholly different. The ground for this is resiliency or the deficiency of it.
When a individual can bounce from traumatic experiences and unfortunate fortunes. they are more likely to hold a strong character and be a moral individual. For case. a adult female who was abused as a kid traveling on to assist victims of kid maltreatment as an grownup is an illustration of resiliency. Another adult female who was abused as a kid may travel on to mistreat her kids. Specific conditions must be met in order to bring forth immorality. Since an single must take some kind of action to bring forth evil. and if no action is taken. no evil can be. I believe it is goodness that defines our human nature. and non evil.