Are Humans Born Evil : Augustine And Hs?�n Tzu

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Over the course of time, things that seem important now are bound to change. For example, before Augustine’s time, Christianity was just becoming legally recognized. Today, Christianity is one of the world’s most widely known religions. Augustine shows us that while most things do change, human nature is not one of them. Throughout his piece, Confessions, he describes to the reader how humans are born evil, and cannot change until they have the capacity to do so. Through reading this autobiography and Hsün Tzu’s piece, Man’s Nature Is Evil, as well as Mencius’s piece, Man’s Nature Is Good, it seems that Augustine agrees more with Hsün Tzu than Mencius. They both agreed on the ideas that all humans are born evil, they remain evil through…show more content…
We come into this world wanting things that are not ours, and things we do not deserve. Although Augustine and Hsün Tzu studied two different topics, they still agreed that humans remain evil through adolescence. For example, in Confessions, Augustine claims, “For in my adolescence I sometimes burned to glut myself on the sins of Hell and I let myself go in shadowy loves, while in your eyes I decayed and rotted, pleasing myself and desiring instead to be pleasing in the eyes of mankind” (Augustine 165). Augustine explains that through our young adulthood, we slowly discover what it means to be good, but we do not totally know how to act on it yet. More evidence of this is seen in Man’s Nature Is Evil, and Hsün Tzu states, “A warped piece of wood must wait until it has been laid against the straightening board, steamed, and forced into shape before it can become straight; a piece of blunt metal must wait until it has been whetted on a grindstone before it can become sharp” (Hsün Tzu 130). Hsün Tzu uses this metaphor to show that we are not born knowing how to be good. Throughout our lives, people teach and shape us to be good. Others must teach us through our life what it means to be good and evil. Humans must learn how to be good, from other people and the mistakes they make through their adolescence. Augustine and Hsün Tzu make it clear that they both feel the same way on this topic. Augustine gives us a personal example of when he

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