Human Nature Is Fundamentally Good? Essay

1021 Words Dec 1st, 2016 5 Pages
With constant wars, murders, rapes, etc. it’s normal to think that humans tend towards disorder. Even at a young age, humans are selfish and think egocentrically. If they are lucky, they grow up to think abstractly, only to use those thoughts to outsmart another human. There seems to be no hope for humanity. However, human nature is fundamentally good: if one was to strip a human of their social responsibilities and influences, they would realize that a human is simple-minded. They care for their loved ones while openly donating their time and resources to those who are less fortunate than them.

To Zhu Xi, humans contain a basic understanding of the “principles” or “patterns” of human nature. In that, they possess ethical/moral principles that are naturally engrained in them. Humans are morally good since they contain the knowledge of what is right or wrong. For example, a human would shy away from killing a person, and they would give their money to a poor man on the street. Zhu Xi sees these basic ethical principles as li. Li is the basis of human nature, since it structures reality. It is the moral pattern that influences our actions and thoughts, which helps build our character. Qi is the basic building block of the world; the physical shape and energy of matter. A human has a different physical form than a cat, which explains why a human and a cat are confined to what activities their bodies are capable of performing. Qi isn’t just physical form as it may encompass…

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