The example of the child falling down the well (2A6, pp. 129-130) is a famous passage in The Mengzi that suggest one of Mencius’ central ideas, i.e., human nature is good. Even more precisely, he says that the child-well example shows that, “if one is without the heart of compassion, one is not human” (129).
What do you think about the thought-experiment? Does it persuade you that we are naturally good? Do you think, as Mencius does, that we would all “have a feeling of alarm and compassion” upon seeing a child fall down a well? In short, respond to Mencius’ thought-experiment with your own opinions/reactions–but give reasons for your opinions.
*Do not feel compelled to use the vocabulary in 2A6 (e.g., “sprouts” and “hearts” etc), though do so if you would like. We will go over these in class; you need only respond to the thought-experiment and what it tells us about human nature.
Please write at least 1 full page.