posted 18 Mar 2013, 17:16 by Jim Sheng
[Hsun Tzu, 3rd century B.C., is famous chiefly for having sustained the heterodox theory that the nature of man is evil in opposition to the Confucian doctrine that man is born good and becomes evil through his environment.] 


BY nature, man is evil. If a man is good, that is an artificial result. For, his condition being what it is, he is influenced first of all by a desire for gain. Hence, he strives to get all he can without consideration for his neighbour. Secondly, he is liable to envy and hate. Hence, he seeks the ruin of others, and loyalty and truth are set aside. Thirdly, he is a slave to his animal passions. Hence, he commits excesses, and wanders from the path of duty and right. 

Thus, conformity with man's natural disposition leads to all kinds of violence, disorder, and ultimate barbarism. Only under the restraint of law and of lofty moral influences does man eventually become fit to be a member of regularly organised society. 

From these premisses it seems quite clear that by nature man is evil; and that if a man is good, that is an artificial result.