The Good Life: Plato and Paul

Powerful Essays
The Good Life: Plato and Paul
For the span of all philosophical theory, the quest for the “good life” or permanent and final happiness has time and again been at the forefront of human motivation and thought. In surmising on how to make our lives good, it is not uncommon to believe that existing in the customary ways, given the lifestyles humans naturally form in becoming adults, is not automatically the preeminent way to exist. If we were to dedicate deliberate and conscious thought to the problem, a superior method may appear. The “good life” can range from a system of ethics to a quality of existence in comparison to others. Many philosophers, writers, and religious figures have speculated on what “the good life” truly is. Among these figures are the philosopher Plato and St. Paul. Plato’s best individual life is one of method and technique.
The more established opinion of the good life and the life of ethical virtue is that they are two different concepts; that the life of ethical virtue at times stands in the way of contentment and therefore the good life. Plato’s intellectual approach to the good life departs from the more common dependence on experience to acquire the knowledge involved in living a good life and finding happiness. His reserve about this idea, despite its significance in his metaphysics and ethics, is principally accountable for the vagueness of his notion of happiness and what it is to lead a good life, excepting the assertion that people are best off if they do what they want and according to self-preservation.
In just what way the thinkers' knowledge offers a concrete foundation for the good life of the public and the however vacuous bulk of the citizens remains an open question; beyond the notion that ...

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... being content with ourselves. If we are constantly fighting our urges because some supreme being told us to, we are not fighting those urges for the right reason and we’re also less likely to follow the commands, however righteous they may be. Even if we are fighting urges, we’re still not content, and that means we are not at peace. Paul offers a good framework because we definitely shouldn’t kill people or steal, but if we simply follow those rules to appease others, then how are we living our best individual lives? Plato’s conception of the good life is broader; it is all about being one with our true natures. If we live up to our natures’ potential, then we’ve fulfilled our individual goals for happiness to be achieved. True happiness is contentment with our natures according to Plato, and that makes much more sense to the individual and reason for a good life.
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