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Word Count: 342
Mencius 370-330 BC was a reputable scholar and statesman and traveled throughout China to tutor monarchs in politics His work Mencius is a collection of the conversations he shared with the rulers The book comprise of discussion on virtue benevolence and many ethical foundations In one of the conversations he said Whoever is devoid of the heart of right and wrong is not human This statement well reflects his view on human nature which he believed to be inherently good Through morals and reasoning he claimed peoples innate goodness and compassion can be found in their impulsive reactions to the sufferings of others For example when someone sees a child about to be drowned will involuntarily reach out to help without contemplating about the thing he will gain in helping that child Then why does the evil still exists Mencius answers people are naturally good but often display evil sides due to external and social issues People natural inclinations can be compared to water that naturally flows downward By some mechanics people can make water flow backwards but it is not the natural tendency of the water Just like this a human can be led to do bad deeds influenced by external forces but this is not their inborn qualities Therefore Mencius states people should continuously cultivate their heart and mind to bring forth their natural goodness to become more compassionate kind and sympathetic person Nevertheless Mencius is not always optimistic about human nature there is also an extreme side to Menciuss philosophy Mencius maintains people have to display decorum and those who first have to show such decorum are the rulers or government officials They need to set a good example so civilians can look up to them and practice good deeds as well Furthermore he asserted common civilians have right to overthrow or even to kill corrupt rulers who do not practice good deeds This may be the reason Mencius was not popular
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