Xunzi's Argument Essay: Human Nature Is Good

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This essay will be focusing on the topic of human nature. Then what is human nature? “Human nature” can be defined as an attribute of the human species that is uniquely/distinctly human. (Byron, 2014, p.241) It’s the nature qualities and ways of behavior that people have. The issue of human nature is good (Mencius) or evil (Xunzi) will be discussed in the following parts on this essay. However, I will mention more about Xunzi’s idea which human nature is evil. Confucius implied human nature is good, Mencius declared that human nature is originally good. (Chan, 1963, p.49) To discuss about human nature, the neonates will be the best example. Babies don’t have any recognizes about how the world looks like, it’s no possible for they having any…show more content…
“The nature of man is evil; his goodness is the result of his activity.” A society has been built up by many things like the social order, environment and human. If people are originally good, then why we need moral, law, rules of the society? If people are originally good, then what personal accomplishment and social enlightenment exist for? There is an interview to tested 19 inmates in California prisons who had all recently been convicted of homicide. Through the interview, their murders were totally unexpected given their mild manner and gentle disposition. Their evil natures were covered by the other expressions like gentle disposition. As the quote from the work of Xunzi, human nature is evil, but it can be evolve to good nature. Confucius has said: "By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart." People’s nature is evil, but the nature can be changed by education, by environment, by social order. In another word, most people will not commit crime or hurt others under the controls/influences of education, law, environment and social order. In deep minds, they will have some things like brutish nature, at one moment they will want to do some crazy things. By the limitation of moral, the education they received from childhood and society they will not make them. However, this doesn’t mean because of these factors they will give up the evil nature. For example when people…show more content…
From the point of human nature, the relationship of parents and their children could be the most presentative example. As the saying goes: “Even a vicious tiger will not eat its cubs” (虎毒不食子) which means No one is capable of hurting his own children.; All men, good or bad, rarely ill-treat their own children. Nonetheless, in the famine period of Chinese history, people exchange their sons to cook as food (易子而食) , this kind of thing did happen. Can we still think human nature is good? Even the parents, they could give up their children to survive. If human nature is good, how can the parents made this kind of decision? In second paragraph, at the statement of human nature is good, mentioned that parents protecting children is a kind of instinct. Then, at this stage, where is the instinct? When a mother is pregnant with twins, the babies will compete for nutrients, the stronger one will getting more nutrients from weaker one. Can we still say human nature is good? As said above, neonates just like a blank paper, their actions will be the most truly portraitures of human nature. In another word, it reflects the result that human nature is evil. The goodness is a transformation from evil

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