In this week’s reading, Mencius discussed his beliefs surrounding human nature. He claims that all humankind has an inclination towards good, and that acting in a way that is not good goes against the very nature of man. He also claims that both benevolence and righteousness are internal, natural human inclinations. He goes on to discuss the four sprouts, or senses that every human possesses that can be developed into humaneness, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom.
I find Mencius’s belief that all humans are innately inclined to good to be interesting. I have always thought that humans were neither inclined towards good nor evil, like the philosopher Gaozi. However, Mencius’s analogy of the child and the well offered a new perspective. I agree with Mencius that the vast majority of people would react to the situation with the seeds of goodness.