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The Quintessence of Human Nature - Essay Example

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Name Professor Course Date The Quintessence of Human Nature Human nature refers to the distinctive personalities, comprising modes of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have purely. The inquiries of what these features are, what instigates them and how this grounds bring about, and how rigid human nature is, are amid the long-standing and most significant queries in Western Philosophy…
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The Quintessence of Human Nature

Some people deemed that humans are basically evil. Hobbes believed that the state of nature was so horrible, and people in their natural state so degenerate, that any form of government was preferable to it (119). Thus, Hobbes opposed any revolution in any kind, not because he supposes that kings govern by absolute right but because he believed that authoritarian governments were mandatory to keep human beings’ worst impulses under control (119). Hobbes highlighted in his theory that the natural state of humanity is war, by which he means not necessarily armed conflict but a struggle in which each person’s interests are intrinsically opposed to everyone else’s (119). In such a state, Hobbes described human nature as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short (119). Hobbes stressed that men have no pleasure, but on the contrary, a great deal of misery, in keeping company where there is no power to over-awe them all (121). Likewise, he supposes that every man thinks that his companion should value him at the same degree he sets upon himself, and upon all signs of hatred, or undervaluing, fundamentally endeavors, as far as he dares which amid them have no common power to keep them tranquil and that power though is great enough for men to destroy each other, to extort a superior value from his critics, by harm to others for instance (121). Hobbes also cited the three principal factors of quarrel that the nature of man possesses and these are rivalry, diffidence and the drive for grandeur (121). The sense of rivalry drives men to invade for gain; they also employ the use of violence to make themselves the masters of other men’s persons, wives, children and cattle. On the contrary, the principle of diffidence highlights that men dominate others for their safety; hence, they utilize hostility to defend themselves. Conversely, the drive for grandeur motivates a man to overcome another for reputation; mainly, they use aggression for trifles such as a word, a smile, a diverse opinion and any other sign of undervalue, either direct in their persons, or by reflection in their kindred, their friends, their nation, their profession or their name (Hobbes 121). Just like Hobbes, the Chinese philosopher Hsun believes that man’s nature is basically evil (100). Hsun saw Confucian rites as indispensable because they restrained and redirected humanity’s innate disposition towards evil (100). Moreover, he believed that strict discipline could make human beings good despite their natural inclinations. He also argued that human beings must be forced into rectitude by strict laws and harsh penalties for disobedience (100). Man’s nature is evil and the goodness is the result of conscious activity; the nature of man is such that he is born with a fondness for profit and if he indulges this fondness, it will lead man into squabbling and conflict, and all sense of courtesy and humility will vanish (Hsun 100-101). He is born with feelings of resentment and abhorrence, and if he indulges these, they will direct him into violence and crime, and all sense of fidelity and good faith will disappear (Hsun 101). Man is born with the desires of the eyes and the ears, with a fondness for beautiful sights and sounds; if he indulges these, they will lead him into license and depravity, and all ritual principles and correct forms ... Read More
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