“The most important thing is not life, but the good life” is a statement that says life is not the most important thing, instead it is living your life with meaning and purpose. Perhaps living a life that is just in society would make my life worth living, but if we do not have a purpose to our lives then we will just be mere physical bodies, having no soul and therefore no meaning. In Greek mythology, Socrates was pointed out as having a good life, and his death was because of how important he thought the most important thing in life was (Corlett, 2018). This essay will investigate and find out what made Socrates’ good life so special. It will also explore why this statement is true. If you live your life with meaning and purpose, then your life is worth living because it gives you a reason to keep be alive.
Argument supporting the thesis
Thesis statement: If you live your life with meaning and purpose, then your life is worth living because it gives you a reason to keep be alive. Socrates refused to make decisions himself, however he would rather ask somebody else who could make a better decision than him. It is because of this, that one day Socrates would shortly question what it is that makes life so special anyway? “The most important thing is not life, but the good life”. Socrates believed that if you lead your life with purpose and meaning then you were living the good life. He had the ‘Golden Mean’ theory. This theory is one where a person chooses to be morally and ethically good rather than being bad (Corlett, 2018). Socrates believed that this was the best way to do things because it was considered a golden mean where there is no excess or deficiency in good morals. This is always going to be right because it has no excess or deficiency of virtues, therefore it can never end up being wrong in any situation.
Assessment of objections
There are many objections that can be raised against this argument. One is that if we all lived the good life we would have no progression in society. This is because everyone would be too busy doing good to do anything else, therefore nothing would be done. If everybody did what was right and proper then it would not result in any harm because there will be no excess or deficiency of virtues, therefore nothing will ever go wrong. However, it could lead to a breakdown of society because people just do not want to do what is morally good anymore and always want more things.
Socrates believed that the most important thing in life is knowledge, which means that there are a lot more things in life that are of consequence than just one’s physical health. Knowledge is a matter of inquiry, which means it has to be investigated by way of searching. It is of utmost importance to one’s good life (Vallor, 2018). In order to properly understand Socrates’ theory, one must first comprehend what he means by “good”. He is saying that if a person knows what they are doing, and they do it as a service to others or themselves as a result of doing what they want, then they are achieving the good life.
Corlett, J. A. (2018). Legal Obligation in Plato’s Crito. In Interpreting Plato Socratically (pp. 133-168). Springer, Cham.
Vallor, S. (2018). An introduction to data ethics. Course module.) Santa Clara, CA: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
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