The Theories on Human Nature of Mengzi and Xunzi
This essay wishes to explore how the theories of human nature, as advocated by Mencius and Xunzi can help to correct social ills (such as rape and culture) of the today’s world. In order to arrive at the objective above, the essay will first give a brief highlight on the two theories of human nature and later relate on how the theories may be used to correct the social ills of today.According to Lau (1953), the theory of Mengzi (Mencius) states that human nature is good. It is only damaged by the environment or society in which that human is found. Mengzi reinforces the argument by stating that the young are well behaved in times of peace and stability but violent in bad times (although they become ashamed at the end). Therefore, there is a need to propagate (cultivate) the heart (mind) so that it grows and maintains its goodness. This propagation can be done through rituals (morals or education). Lau (1953) adds that Mengzi further argues that the goodness of human nature is seen in the inborn heart of morality, commiseration, keeping oneself back in order to make way for others, and right and wrong. Mengzi elaborates that the heart of commiseration is the beginning of humanity. where people feel for others the way they feel about themselves. In this case, they will sympathize with those who are facing problems. The philosopher further explains that having shame is the beginning of righteousness. giving way for others is the beginning of observing the ritual, and the heart of knowing wrong and right is the beginning of wisdom. Having shame will help people avoid doing evil lest they are ashamed. Similarly, keeping oneself back will help to make others first. and knowing right and wrong will help people approve right and disapprove wrongdoing.On the other hand, Lau (1953) states quoting Xunzi, advocates that human nature is bad (evil).