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Buddhism

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

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

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...




Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi








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
nature.


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 Yo-yu

Previous: Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius



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