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Word Count: 1,196
The philosopher Mencius considered himself a follower of Confucius and this is exactly what he was He was Confuciuss greatest disciple They were both teachers and tried very hard to influence the rulers of their day although they both had very little luck He was the chief architect of Confucian thought He added components and gave others great emphasis Mencius introduced the large component of compassion to Confucianism He believed in the essential goodness of human nature and was highly skeptical of the government Mencius believed that the qualities characteristic only to man were innate These qualities were jen and yi Confucius believed in ritual and humanity Also religion as a motive of right conduct concerned Mencius much less than it did Confucius Both Mencius and Confucius believed that it was the duty of a ruler to provide for the welfare of his people in both material goods and moral guidance According to Mencius The people are the most important element in a nation the spirits of the land and grain come next the sovereign counts for the least The master said He who cultivates the five treasures and eschews the five evils is fit to govern The five treasures are being generous without having to spend which can be done by allowing people to pursue what is beneficial to them making people work but only reasonable tasks ambition without rapacity authority but no arrogance and he is stern but not fierce The four evils are terror which rests on ignorance and murder Tyranny which demands results without proper warning Extortion which is conducted through contradictory orders Bureaucracy which begrudges people their rightful entitlementsp100 202 Unlike Confucius Mencius believed that if a ruler cannot provide this for his people than the people no longer have to be loyal and if they believe strongly enough they can revolt When Mencius found Prince Hui living in the lap of luxury while his people were perishing for
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