Human Nature and Proper Order Essay

Human Nature and Proper Order Essay

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Proper Order in Confucianism and as taught primarily by Mencius, the Chinese philosopher, is the conceptual theory that instructs how people can reach their highest potential of moral and material well being embodied in Mencius' conception of human nature. The theory of proper order is the primary and philosophical means to that end. Although proper order may seem in many ways philosophically abstract, Mencius' teachings of proper order in history have had lasting and tangible effects on modern East Asian politics and its relationship between the state and society, and even on a narrower level of the individual and community. In fact, the theory of proper order starts first at the individual level and from there flourishes to create a positive rippling effect throughout all of society. This profound theory and its ideals is credited with developing a social society in East Asia which acknowledges the great potential of each of its citizens, but still aspires to consider the effects of individual actions on the common good and not to just ignore the interests of society as a whole. This has helped guide East Asia through its long and colorful history and has helped to shape it into the political and economic powerhouse that it is today. But where exactly did such a significant theory which has helped to define an entire society come from? What exactly is proper order, how can we create it, and why is it needed to achieve Mencius' human nature? Most of these questions can be answered in explaining the fundamental virtue that all humans have according to Mencius, our humaneness defined in human nature.
The most manageable way to approach such an intricate and abstruse concept such as public order is to first establish it as a means...

... middle of paper ...

...ut more importantly Mencius' core conception that human nature is also aware of its actions, and considers the well-being of others and that people are morally obligated to do so is also key to attaining our full potential. This conception of human nature and proper order together is what has shaped East Asian political and social thought for centuries. It is credited with creating an East Asia that is economically robust, and socially coherent and once again will be the center of human society in the decades to come. And contrary to popular Western belief, East Asian political thought does appreciate the necessity of the individual in defining society. In fact the only way to attain our human nature is to healthily self-cultivate ourselves morally and materially so we can reach our highest potential and in that way be a valued and contributing member to society.

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