The Good Life: Reason and Religion Essay

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A good life can be defined with continuous happiness, various accomplishments, and everlasting prosperity. The eternal desire for a good life has influenced philosophers and their reasoning throughout the years. Many have followed ancient religions; while others followed the modern belief of listening to your heart and therefore one’s self. Pascal, Luther, and Augustine are some of the philosophers who followed religion, and believed it to be the ultimate way of achieving a good life. Other preachers like Rousseau and Nietzsche believed in following one’s heart and conscious in order to achieve the desired goal. Rousseau presented the idea that humans are born good and society is what actually shapes humans into good or bad people. Furthermore, he expands on the subject of one’s self and the inward view rather than the outward view. With this, a modern and innovative perspective on the good life was developed as reason cannot only be used on an everyday basis, but can also present a more attainable way of achieving a good for all members of society.
Pascal dedicated his life and knowledge to the study of the human perspective and the significance of God in our lives. As a fervent believer and follower of God’s word, Pascal stated the necessity of religion as the moving power of humans. To this philosopher, God does not only signify endless love and care, but also the ultimate good in all. Nevertheless, Pascal implies the power of humans to be insignificant compared to the almighty God. With this, he mentions that a being without God is worthless, useless, but more importantly empty . Pascal’s book of Pensees has a goal to represent the idea that human existence involves a fundamental paradox, “as we are basically animals, but al...

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...fectly applied to this theme; however, it is imperative to understand the impact that we have as we have freedom in our decisions. Our decisions are known to not only impact us as individuals, but to impact society as everyday becomes a new chance to cherish and appreciate what we have.

Works Cited
Aristotle and Irwin, Terrence, Nicomachean Ethics Second Edition (Indiana: Indianapolis 1999)
Blaise Pascal, Pensees, ed. Charles Guignon (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1999)
Jacques Rousseau, Emile, ed. Charles Guignon (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company 1999), s.v. “Self-Deception” (accessed Dec 03; 2011)
Rick Brainard, “18th Century History: Romantiscism the alternative to enlightenment” 04 Dec.2011,

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