“The unexamined Life is not worth living”
Socrates was considered by many to be the wisest man in ancient Greece. While he was eventually condemned for his wisdom, his spoken words are still listened to and followed today. When, during his trial, Socrates stated that, "the unexamined life is not worth living" (Plato 45), people began to question his theory. They began to wonder what Socrates meant with his statement, why he would feel that a life would not be worth living. To them, life was above all else, and choosing to give up life would be out of the picture. They did not understand how one would choose not to live life just because he would be unable to examine it. Socrates felt that if he was unable to examine life, he would not be really living. To Socrates, living meant being able to question the world around him. Examining life gives one freedom. Once one examines himself and understands who he is, he can take control of his life. Socrates believed that the ability to ask, to examine, and to understand would make a life whole. He believed that the purpose of life was to grow, both physically and spiritually. Being able to explore and understand would lead to a deeper understanding of the world around us as well as a deeper understanding of ourselves. (Plato 46) Socrates felt that, above all, one should be a good citizen and always do the right thing (Plato 18). However, many in his time did not worry about doing what was correct. Socrates realized this, and understood that they did not care to look into their actions and beliefs. Their first thoughts were on the goals that they had, such as money and pleasure, rather than the thought of whether or not the goals they held were actually what should have been considered important and right (Plato 26). Socrates knew that, unless they took the time to question their lifestyles, they would never do the right thing. By living a life that was being examined, the citizens would be living a life that was, for the most part, also right. Socrates... Personally, I have found great value in examining the wisdom of many acts in my life, yet there are many types of people in this world, and if some do not ponder the wisdom of their actions much at all, must we (or particularly they) conclude their life is less worth living? It seems awfully condescending. The people who don’t examine their lives much probably aren’t examining Socrates statement. If they did, they might object to the interpretation with which it is adopted by philosophers. The live in which I let other people tell me what the questions of life are, the life in which I let other people give me their answers without my thinking through to my own answers, is the unexamined life. Socrates is saying that the life in which I ask my own questions and answer them for myself in a reasonable manner is a more valuable life than the unexamined life. The examined life is so much better than an unexamined life that Socrates is willing to die for that value. Through out generations, mankind has been asking themselves what is the purpose of life. And obviously, it would not easy for one alone to answer or explain what the meaning of life is. Nevertheless, one's life is monotonous if it is meaningless, and it is not monotonous if it has a purpose, a target to go. Thus, the question here is how one knows that his life is worth living or not? Socrates, the father of ancient philosophy, once stated, "An unexamined life is not worth living." In order to make one life becomes worth to live, this famous statement strongly addresses that one must exanimate himself first and then others in the society to find the meaning and happiness of life. After reading Plato's account of Socrates defense, the Apology, I was completely blown away by the power of Socrates words and ideas. The reading left me thinking about how I felt regarding what he had said about virtue, truth and the quest for both. In class, we discussed Socrates...
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