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November 17 1999 The Views of Mencius and Hsun-tzu on Heaven Mencius believes that it is our nature and mind that determine what we are It is our fate that governs our fortunes and determines our lease on life Fate was originally a patent to a fief-holder given by the Son of Heaven as Heavens deputy to a feudatory In extended usage it became our lot in life - the fate ordained by heaven While people guard their minds and determine their conduct they cannot determine their fate which is in Heavens hands So Mencius believed that though all humans are innately good the realization of that good comes with self-cultivation and self-knowledge Hsun-tzu could not accept Mencius idealistic view of human nature nor did he believe that Heaven was the sole arbiter of human behavior He believed that the importance of humankind in the universe is equal to but different from the importance of Heaven and Earth Heaven has its seasons Earth has its riches and man has his culture This is what is meant by the Trinity Humanitys function is to utilize the resources of Heaven and Earth to create its own culture This can be done through the strength acquired from social organization However because the social organization needs to be regulated lest it break down and because desires are many but things are few Hsun-tzu taught that people need to be restricted and guided by rules and morality In my view of these two philosophers I feel that Mencius views are much more common in most religious traditions today Mencius beliefs are a lot like Christianity which is the religion that I am most familiar with He believes that Heaven is a moral force whose mandate is to be respected and followed by human beings We follow Heavens mandate by knowing and nourishing our human nature Our human nature is good When you look at the Doctrine of four
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