Mencius And Xunzi's View Of Human Nature Is Evil

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Mencius is known for his view that human nature (xing) is good, while Xunzi is known for his view that human nature (xing) is evil. This paper will demonstrate the substantive differences between Mencius’ and Xunzi’s ethical thinking that are conveyed through these two slogan-like statements, while also considering the implications of such differences for other aspects of their different views like the self-cultivation process. This paper will begin by explaining Mencius’ reasoning for why our human nature is good followed by his view on the self-cultivation process. Additionally, this paper will conclude with Xunzi’s argument for why our human nature is evil and his view on the self-cultivation process. First, this paper will discuss how…show more content…
Since Mencius claims we have good within us, he asserts that we must learn or self-cultivate in order to remain morally good, which can be done in various ways. He claims that our environment and our parents play a large role in teaching us moral education and providing the necessary love and respect that will develop us into the virtuous human beings we innately strive to be (2A:6). Moreover, Mencius claims if we grow up in a chaotic and neglected environment then we should not blame human nature itself, but blame the stunting of human nature for being evil given the relationship and environment we are in. As a result, Mencius believes the relationships we have and the environment we are in are crucial to the self-cultivation process because if human beings are evil it is not because their nature is evil. Through learning and the self-cultivation process we are able to develop our natural tendencies and human good within us. Additionally, this paper will now explain why Xunzi believes that our human nature is evil. He asserts our human nature leads to conflict and disorder, thus we need to reform ourselves through rules and regulations in order to develop and learn how to be morally good (164). According to Xunzi, our human nature is evil because of the selfish tendencies that are in us. He claims that if people were good by nature then there would be no need

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