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An Evaluation of Xunzi's View on Human Nature (Essay Sample)


These were the instructions given for this paper:
Explain and evaluate Xunzi’s case that human nature is bad or Mencius’s claim that human nature is good. What does he mean by their claim? How does he think we can nonetheless become good? You’ll want to tie this last part to Confucianism more broadly. Does he make a good case?
In the sample, I based my argument on xunzi's case that human nature is bad.


Xunzi’s view on Human Nature as Bad
Xunzi’s view on Human Nature as Bad
The state of human nature being good arises from one's existence, sensations, thoughts, or surroundings. We can view social qualities characterizing humankind in contrast to other living creatures from two perspectives, according to Xunzi, who believes human nature is evil. At the same time, Mencius claims the social qualities are characterizing humankind to be good. This paper will focus on Xunzi's claim and his thinking on how he believes humans can be good (Durt, 2006).
Xunzi anticipated that the human race was in a state of awakening. He believed without learning about how the carving of the people would eventually lead them to violence to satisfy their cravings. When humans are unattended, they will find themselves in a state of confusion and violence (Kroll, 2002). It would lead them to live their lives under poor conditions and would be extremely cruel. It is this fact that alludes to Xunzi's belief that human nature is evil. This line of thinking gets disputed by many scholars who were of a different opinion. They laid their emphasis on Mencius's line of thinking about the goodness of people.
He justifies his stand by making several arguments. He emphasizes our characters as inborn and ones that don't need to be from the outside environment. He insists that the existence of rituals practiced by several communities is evidence enough for his theory. As he points out, the social norms set by our surrounding environment prove the virtue of humans as harmful. He insists these social norms are for governing people due to their evil ways of doing things. He alludes that those who formed these laws ensured they are passed from generation to generation since people could not naturally agree with them. He further points out the aspiration by humans is also evil. He demonstrates this aspiration insisting the craving to have what one does not have is wrong. Instead, he drives the idea that man seems contented with what they have. According to him, these desires by humans contribute majorly to the vices existing within our universe. He paints a picture of a man who never gets contended with what is available for them. He says that people tend to break the set rules and don't act morally upright, which is not deliberate, but they have no genuine understanding of morals. He insists man be naturally blinded by nature in terms of morals even though he admits that man wants to live a good life hence setting the standards they need to conform to (Durt, 2006).

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