1

In Chinese philosophy, there are 2 main views of human nature, also known as renxing, as proposed by Mengzi and Xunzi. I want to know which philosophy seems more logical or correct.

Mengzi says that human nature is generally neutral, and that humans tend towards goodness. He thinks humans are "good" people, like how water tends to go downwards, we tend to act in a good way. Badness comes from unnatural or outside sources, and is not in our nature.

Xunzi, on the other hand, does not believe human nature is inherently good. He thinks that our nature is crude and not good. In order to do good, we must make a conscious effort to do so, it does not come naturally. He says our nature is greedy and animalistic, and thus we should reject this human nature in order to do good things. We need to civilize people and educate them to form them into decent human beings.

I am leaning towards Xunzi's way of thinking, as I think people in nature would not care about the well-being of others and would indeed act selfishly and unjust. What do you guys think? Any comments are welcome, I just want to know more opinions on the matter, thank you!

  • Hi, welcome to Philosophy SE, please visit our Help Center to see what questions we answer and how to ask. Unfortunately, "what do you think" questions that solicit personal opinions are off-topic on this site, so you will have to rephrase yours to something more objectively answerable. It is not clear what "more logical" even means. – Conifold Nov 28 '17 at 23:35
  • According to the Holy Scriptures, we are born with a corrupt nature, and, for that reason, we need reconciliation with God through faith in Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of His people. Anyone who can truly repent for his sins is counted among those for whom Christ died. – user3017 Nov 29 '17 at 12:21
  • Not of fan of either view myself. I believe it would be possible, given time, to show that Mengzi's view is more 'logical', or more in accord with philosophical analysis, and if so this would give us reason to think it is also more correct. To demonstrate this would require a long discussion of metaphysics. But to me the goodness and the badness would equally be part of our nature or our potential. No need for outside interference. – PeterJ Nov 29 '17 at 12:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.