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Daoist's Argument Analysis

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The second part of the readings discussed the topics of beginnings, the problem of good and evil, sacred stories, the divine law, and gender roles. The section on beginnings according to the Daoist texts was fascinating to me. While the great Western traditions pointed the origins of the cosmos and human existence back to the creative powers of God, the ancient Chinese pondered on the time before there was God. The concept Dao, sometimes translated as "The Way" in English, was formed to be the answer to their perplexing questions (Bilhartz, 2006, p. 284). Dao cannot be defined, yet for many ancients, the ultimate purpose was to be one with Dao. In the Dao-de-jing, the authors attempted to describe Dao. In verse 4 of the Dao-de-jing it stated,…show more content…
According to the Confucian scholar, Mencius, human nature is likened to that of water. "The goodness of the human nature is just like the downward tendency of water. Just as all water has a down going tendency, all people have a tendency toward goodness...you can push people into doing evil, but that is not their basic nature" (Bilhartz, 2006, p.287-288). Mencius continued to explain that human beings have an inherent goodness and the human nature should not be blamed for any evil act committed. However, the Confucian scholar, Hsun Tzu, disagreed and claimed that human nature is inherently evil. He stated that if people were to follow their natures and accommodate their desires, they will "transgress their stations in life, upset principles, and turn to violence" (Bilhartz, 2006, p. 288). He continued to say that the only way human nature can be rectified is "with standards and teachers, and it can only be well governed with the application of ritual and righteousness" (Bilhartz, 2006, p. 289). Basically, goodness can be attained through conscious effort. I thought both Confucian scholars proposed interesting arguments and they gave me a new perspective on human nature to consider.
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Bilhartz, T. D. (2006). Sacred words (pp. 284-289). New York, NY:
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