Philosophy Cpt: “The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living”

899 words - 4 pages

The term “philosophy” means the love of wisdom, and those that study philosophy attempt to gain knowledge through rationality and reason. 1 Socrates, the father of ancient philosophy, once stated “the unexamined life is not worth living”. This is the most important part of life and it is need to find purpose and value in life. If a person chooses to live their life without examination, their life would lack value and they would be unhappy. They would also be ignorant to the effects of their choices on themselves and the people around them.
Plato, a student of Socrates, in his book “The Republic” wrote an allegory known as “Plato's Cave”. In Plato's allegory humans are trapped within a dark cave where they can only catch glimpses of the world above through shadows on the wall.2 Plato is describing how the typical human is. They have little knowledge and what they think they know has very little basis in fact. He describes these people as prisoners, in his allegory, and they are only free when they gain knowledge of the world above the cave.
A person who lives an unexamined life may seem content and believe they have the answers to what they need to know. Philosophical questions are irrelevant to them because they assume that they have already answered them. For example, the child of a religious family may follow the theistic view and conclude that the meaning of life is following God's commandments and teachings, despite never using reason to come to their own realization. If a person doesn't have a true, rational belief about the meaning of life, they will never be fully satisfied. Without this, a person will have no goals to strive towards and their life will be pointless.
This described me before taking philosophy. I had never really thought about whether life had a meaning and if it did what that meaning would be. I was complacent and willing to live my life without spending time scrutinizing it. I had decided that life was too short to spend time thinking about why we might be here, especially since we will never know the truth. Over the past semester, I have learned that it is important to think about these things. Even though I haven't decided what I believe the meaning of life is, it is important that I have taken the first step and started to establish my positions.
Another important thing to examine carefully are moral choices. If moral choices are not examined, people will choose only what benefits them in the short term and not follow hedonism. Hedonism is a doctrine that states that pleasure is the only intrinsic good in humans and it is our moral obligation to...

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