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The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living - Essay Example

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The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

For a philosopher, every life form should have a way of life suitable for it, that is, the life that is in harmony with its nature. But according to human nature, ‘the good’ involves living that kind of life subject to the truly critical use of reason, namely to live such a life implying anything less that it is quite unworthy of such person’s nature. Indeed he stands to find it intolerable and further, that way of life is quite unworthy of such person’s nature, and he/she should not endure the unexamined life, which is in Kant’s words ‘an eternal childhood’ which in essence is a condition of lack of freedom. This paper discuses Socrates’ words "The unexamined life is not worth living". This would help ascertain if such words are any meaningful in human life. "The unexamined life is not worth living." Certainly those are Socrates’ words while at his trial for heresy. Socrates was on trial and said those words intentionally to encourage his students to always think for themselves and challenge the accepted belief of the time. He was condemned to death, although he had the choice of suggesting an alternative punishment. Rationally, it was expected that Socrates could have opted for exile or life in prison, which would have helped him avoid death. But according to Socrates, these promising alternatives would instead rob him of that only thing that would make him useful in examining the beautiful world around him and discussing how well to make it a better place to live. Without his examined life Socrates believed then that there was no point in living. He, therefore, suggested that the Jury should consider rewarding him for his service to the society. This implied that the Athens had no other alternative but be forced to vote for his death punishment. Socrates believed that the purpose of human life would always be personal and spiritual growth. People are not able to grow towards their greater understanding of their true nature unless they spend some time reflecting and examining their lives (Palmer 34). Just like philosopher, Santayana, observed, “He who fails to remember the past is condemned to repeat it.” (Karl 11). Lucky enough, people do not have to make a choice between death and examined life. The saddest thing is that most people always avoid living an examined life not because they do not have the time, but because they actively like to avoid examining their own life. Socrates’ words are significantly relevant in every bit of human life, and I unreservedly agree to them. It implies that a person who is not open for questioning by others concerning his action and thoughts certainly lives in denial of such motivations prompting his actions and thoughts. It follows that such an individual wastes his or her life. That kind of life is but a superficial act that reveals nothing new and nothing unique and such a life is not "real" Socrates’ careful choice of words provides much color to his quote. The word ‘examined’ might be interpreted to mean to analyze, study, to check condition or health of someone or something, or to inquire. One would imagine that Socrates insists that asking other persons what his quote implies defiles the precise nature. It is, therefore, best for one to have his or her meaning from it. Socrates suggests that ‘unexamined life’ refers to that life whose purpose has at no time been questioned; a ...Show more

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Name Institution Date "The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living" More often than not, I have been fascinated by the bold statements made by the philosopher Socrates "The unexamined life is not worth living”. In this instance, Socrates did not mince his words on this issue but clearly says that such kind of life is not worth living…
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