Debate Between Mencius And Xunzi

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How has the debate on human nature has influenced society today?
The study of human nature has been one that is largely debated in Chinese Philosophy, spanning for almost 25 centuries since the Zhou dynasty (Scarpari, 323). While their Western counterparts were concerned with developing a perfect guide for ethics, Chinese philosophy seeks to first discover the innate nature of human beings, before determining the type of governance and structure of society to progressively develop their community We will explore these questions that arise after the Song dynasty that later became a central debate in Confucianism. Some have contended that the human nature debate between Mencius and Xunzi converges as they both aim for the same outcome. In this
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The big debate: Xunzi and Mencius The debate on human nature between Mencius and Xunzi has been one that is longstanding - both views have compelling claims to support either statement. In this essay, we will discover the main aims of their philosophy of morality to determine what deductions the two philosophers have gathered about humans, and later, their implications on society. For starters, we see that Mencius advocates that human nature is has the inborn capacity for goodness. However, it can be easily misconstrued as human nature is innately good, this false claim which easily contradicts with many examples of heinous acts we see in the past and today. By assuming that we have this inborn tendency for goodness, Mencius claims that we have spontaneous feelings of compassion when we see someone in need of help (Mencius 6A6), and that what follows is altruism that stems from natural obligation. In addition to that, he contends that cultivation of our innate goodness, otherwise known as the four sprouts (ren, li, yi, zhi – benevolence, propriety, righteousness and…show more content…
Nuyen (123) has also contended that Mencius considers Heaven to qualify and delegate ruling rights to whom they (heaven) deem fit to carry out its intention. By that, Mencius will only consider the upper ruling class to be able to make appropriate decisions for the people because they are the only ones who can interpret Heaven’s will. In Chinese philosophy, many see that it is possible to become like a God, hence many stress on the importance of ‘doing good’ and being moral to achieve that bestowing status. Confucians first maintained that there was a morality that was mandated by heaven, and that it was a pivotal purpose for humans to safeguard what was given to them by the heavens (Scarpari, 323). Hence, development of our morality is also part of heaven’s will for humans (Loubna, 181). If desire is constituted as part of human nature, we need to find a balance that aims to fulfil our needs while at the same time, not compromising on the natural flow of life with any negative impact (Wu,
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