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Confucius- Human nature - Essay Example

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Confucius- Human nature

According to Confucius, it was solely the responsibility of people to change the world they live. Human nature was an essential component in the achievement of better lives. According to Confucius, human nature is the foundation of human action. This means that the way a person behaves is entirely based on their human nature. All human beings are similar in nature, but it is their personal practices that set them apart. Therefore, human nature is subject to change depending on one’s environment. Confucius is of the opinion that men are good by nature, but outward influences lead to the decay of the good nature of man. Therefore, people need to be enlightened through education to prevent them from being corrupted by negative external influences. Therefore, in order to preserve the good nature of people, education would have to be conducted using persuasion and practice. According to Rainey rightness and knowledge is a great virtue of human nature taught by Confucius (31). Confucius believes that in order for a person to do what is right, they ought to possess the knowledge of distinguishing right from wrong. This knowledge may be inborn or it may be learned through hard work. Confucius himself claims that he was not born knowledgeable; rather, he took interest in a lot of things involving antiques and studied them carefully. This constant studying is what made Confucius knowledgeable. Another principle of human behavior according to Confucius is courage. Courage for Confucius does not only end at being brave and engaging in risky activities. Rainey (32) states that Confucius looks at courage as the ability to do what is right, regardless of the consequences. Courage in itself without moral uprightness, according to Confucius is neither good to a man nor to his fellow men. Confucius believes that a person who is courageous but lacks moral behavior continues in their wickedness. An example is a ruler who, although courageous does not know what is right, thus brings political problems to the people. Similarly, Confucius states that a low-class man is bound to become a criminal if they have courage but have no idea about what is right. These two examples justify Confucius’ claims about human nature and the opinion that courage is an ingredient for moral behavior. Another of Confucius’ principles is that all men desire to be rich and to be honored and they hate being poor. However, if such wealth is not attained using lawful methods, it should not be kept. Confucius also argues that if one is forced by circumstances to be low in status and poor, they should try to avoid their status. It is as human to be poor as it is to be rich. To Confucius, not have an important position in the society is less important. What matters is whether one gets that position lawfully or not. Therefore, any person who tries to run away from poverty is in essence running away from human nature. In ancient china, monarchy was the accepted form of rule that few dared to challenge. To this end, philosophers were very concerned about the kind of ruler who was ideal to rule china and went on to describe the desirable characteristics of a monarch. Confucius believed that a ruler should be sincere, just, morally upright, and have good social relationships. These aspects of an individual are what ...Show more

Summary

no. Date Human nature according to Confucius In ancient china, philosophers and theorists were respectable people who gave their thoughts concerning how people should live and be governed. During that period in china, most of these philosophers viewed the issue of human nature as being embedded in their moral culture…
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