preview

Life and How to Live It

Powerful Essays
Life and How to Live It

If one is to believe such libertarian philosophers as Sartre who says that we, in short control our own destiny and have free will then how should people choose to carry out their lives? What are the guidelines one should follow in order to lead a complete and fulfilling life, and what should we look to achieve? Such questions are what the next group of philosophers look to answer as they discuss their different views on what we should do with our time here on earth. Philosophers, such as Kant, believe that good will is the only thing unconditional in our lives, and duty guides us and is an important part in our fulfillment of good will. While others like the Taoist philosophers Chuang Tzu and Smullyan believe that in order to reach Te, the power of the Tao, one must live in peace with nature. In a sense, to them, the less that one does the closer they are to reaching perfection with Tao. The broad and unique range of the ideas of this last group of philosophers is very interesting to look at, especially for people without a religious affiliation, who might be better able to evaluate these works without the prejudice that their religion instills upon them.

The first piece comes from the Hindu religion and is called "Bhagavad-Gita" which means "Song of God." Written in the form of a poem, this story entails the conversation of a warrior named Arjuna with his cousin, Lord Krishna. The young man stumbles upon a moral dilemma while preparing to go into battle. He believes that he should value his enemies' lives because they are friends and family, and he finds this a problem in preparing to kill them. "Teachers, fathers, sons…These I would not consent to kill, though killed myself, O Ma...

... middle of paper ...

...Chuang Tzo. Lost in Tao. Pg. 530-536)

Presbey Gail M., and Karsten J. Struhl, and Richard E. Olsen, The Philosophical Quest: A Cross-Cultural Reader, United States of America: McGraw-Hill, 2000. (Raymond M. Smullyan. Whichever the Way. Pg. 536-539)

Presbey Gail M., and Karsten J. Struhl, and Richard E. Olsen, The Philosophical Quest: A Cross-Cultural Reader, United States of America: McGraw-Hill, 2000. (Thomas Hobbes. Human Nature as Competitive. Pg. 217-222)

Presbey Gail M., and Karsten J. Struhl, and Richard E. Olsen, The Philosophical Quest: A Cross-Cultural Reader, United States of America: McGraw-Hill, 2000. (John Hospers. Free Will and Psychoanalysis. Pg. 394-402)

Presbey Gail M., and Karsten J. Struhl, and Richard E. Olsen, The Philosophical Quest: A Cross-Cultural Reader, United States of America: McGraw-Hill, 2000. (Plato. Phaedo. Pg.345-352)
Get Access