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Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz

The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by another

diametrically opposed theory propounded by Siun Tsz (Jun-shi) and his

followers. 'Man is bad-natured,' says Siun Tsz, 'since he has inborn

lust, appetite, and desire for wealth. As he has inborn lust and

appetite, he is naturally given to intemperance and wantonness. As

he has inborn desire for wealth, he is naturally inclined to quarrel

and fight with others for the sake of gain.' Leave him without

discipline or culture, he would not be a whit better than the beast.

His virtuous acts, such as charity, honesty, propriety, chastity,

truthfulness, are conduct forced by the teachings of ancient sages

against his natural inclination. Therefore vices are congenial and

true to his nature, while virtues alien and untrue to his fundamental


[FN#162] Siun Tsz's date is later by some fifty years than Mencius.

Siun Tsz gives the reason why man seeks after morality, saying that

man seeks what he has not, and that he seeks after morality simply

because he has not morality, just as the poor seek riches. See 'A

History of Chinese Philosophy' (pp. 51-60), by G. Nakauchi, and 'A

History of Development of Chinese Thought,' by R. Endo.

These two theories are not only far from throwing light on the moral

state of man, but wrap it in deeper gloom. Let us raise a few

questions by way of refutation. If man's fundamental nature be good,

as Mencius maintains, why is it easy for him to be vicious without

instruction, while he finds it hard to be virtuous even with

instruction. If you contend that good is man's primary nature and

evil the secondary one, why is be so often overpowered by the

secondary nature? If you answer saying that man is good-natured

originally, but he acquires the secondary nature through the struggle

for existence, and it gradually gains power over the primary nature

by means of the same cause, then the primitive tribes should be more

virtuous than the highly civilized nations, and children than grownup

people. Is this not contrary to fact?

If, again, man's nature is essentially bad, as Siun Tsz holds, how

can he cultivate virtue? If you contend that ancient sages invented

so-called cardinal virtues and inculcated them against his natural

inclination, why does he not give them up? If vices be congenial and

true to man's nature, but virtues be alien and untrue to him, why are

virtues honoured by him? If vices be genuine and virtue a deception,

as you think, why do you call the inventors of that deceiving art

sages? How was it possible for man to do good before these sages'

appearance on earth?

Next: Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung

Previous: Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius

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