Mengzi vs. Xunzi

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Mengzi Vs Xunzi

During the month of October, 2011, a two-year-old girl named Yue Yue, was involved in a hit and run accident, when a driver did not see the toddler and crushed the girl beneath the front tire of the van. After realizing what happened, the driver proceeded down the street, again, crushing the girl with the rear wheels of the van, and fled the scene. Yue Yue was lying helplessly in the street, when luckily someone came into the alley-way where she was hit, although, they looked at her and carried on and selfishly took a blind eye. After the first person passed by, seventeen more people walked, rode or drove by, ignoring the child in desperate need, and carried on with their route.

Xunzi’s theory is proven when eighteen people pass by the child, before someone offers to help. Xunzi’s theory also shows that no one wanted to help Yue Yue, due to the fact that they did not want to be blamed for the child’s agony, or punished for helping the innocent toddler. Mengzi would argue that the street cleaner that comes to the girl’s rescue and pulls her off the road, is naturally good and showed remorse and supports his theory. Although a kind deed was done, despite the human nature shown in China, Xunzi would respond that the street cleaner gaining a reward from her actions, would again, support his theory. Humans have to think about being good, and their conscious activity is what brings this goodness. Humans are evil by nature and are evil until they tell themselves to be good.

Xunzi is a philosopher that theorized “Human nature is evil: its goodness derives from conscious activity” (Xunzi). Xunzi’s theory implies that if one were to perform a good moral action, it was because they were scared of punishment or the loss that they might incur. He believes that they do not perform a good moral action because they primarily want to, but because they are scared of the consequences of ones actions. Mengzi is another philosopher that...
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