Mencius vs. Xun Zi on Human Nature

Mencius believed that all humans had a sense of goodness inside them. Mencuis believes that kings should be kind and gentle. There should be “soft” regulations in the kingdom and everyone will get along and everyone will want to be a part of that kingdom. Mencuis also believed that people should commiserate and that will lead to a better person. All people can’t tolerate the suffering of others.

Xun Zi believed that all humans are bad. They are all born with desire and greed and will do whatever to make their life more pleasurable. He believes that all men must be put in rigid rules in order for there to be order in the world. People are born with hatred and fear and if they follow those feelings society descends into chaos. The people need teachers in order to correct them so there is order and peace in the world.

I agree with Xun Zi mainly because I agree with his thought that people need teachers. Teachers are here to correct people and set them on their way. If there are no teachers there is no correction of bad behavior and everything goes downhill from there. I also agree with his sentiment that people msut be put into rigid rules. I find that people in situations where there are little rules for behavior tend to act how they would if there were strict rules, but as time goes on their behavior becomes worse and they slack off. Rules are good and I believe that. I also think Xun Zi’s point about people wanting to be comfortable is true. Everyone wants to be comfortable. I am always cold so I always wear sweatshirts. People who are hungry will eat. People who have money and want expensive things will go out and buy those expensive things, it’s almost a given.


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