Conception of the good life
Drawing on the readings and lectures for this topic, present an argument in favour of one particular conception of the good life. Answer with reference to the good life at the level of the good person or the good society
Conception of the good life
Good life in essence significantly describes the moral standards we employ in how we treat others, how we ought to live all by ourselves and ethical standards. Good life can be achieved when individuals live ethically and independently according to the moral principles set within a given society. It is imperative to identify whether our ethical desire to live a good life provides a moral cause for our concern with what we ought to do for others. Good life, for this reason, depends upon the moral principles we deploy in life.
Argument in favour of one particular conception of the good life
Life is a broad term that involves the religious conception of existence, social ties, happiness and consciousness. According to Plato, good life is defined by the fact that everything has a particular function that it is naturally suited for them. The beauty, justness, virtue and excellence of such things all depend on the realization of that function. Plato holds that human beings functions are dictated by nature, and therefore they cannot decide for themselves which functions fit them. He argues that the opposite use of function of man is to live happily and to achieve unity and harmony in life (Lutz, 2012). Man is therefore required to get knowledge, intelligence and reality in order to attain a good life. Good life, therefore, is a state where man exhibits ideal virtues making him closer the higher realm of existence.
According to Sandel, justice is also an integral part of a society if a man has to live a good life. In his article “Justice and what the right thing is to do, “he describes how man is overcome by greed. He views incidences where individuals have lost their morals to a state of getting what they do not deserve. Greed according to him is a vice since it makes others suffer and that this cannot lead man into a state of achieving goodness in life (Priel, & Sandel, 2010).In times of trouble, the society is obliged to come together and helps those in need rather than take advantage of people. This is not how a society can achieve a state of good life. Civic virtues according to him are an important element in creating a good society. We should treat other with contempt and show concern for achieving happiness.
A society should, therefore, seek to promote the virtue of its inhabitants. It is in this accord that justice should grant people what they deserve. Aristotle views this by implying that it is impossible to configure a just constitution without defining the way life should be. A good society, therefore, respects the people freedoms to choose their own concept about good life (Priel, & Sandel, 2010). The well-being of a people in a society is an integral part in defining the goodness of a society. Greed is a vice that the society should fight against since it only deprives man of his happiness.
Living a good life is the desire of every man. It is important that a man understands that life without happiness cannot be defined as good. Happiness is, therefore, an ingredient to a good life. The happier man is, the better life he has. Man can also attain a state of a good life without happiness. It is, therefore, important that a man develops proper virtues that guide how he relates to the society too.
Lutz, M. J. (2012). Metaphysics as rhetoric: Alfarabi’s summary of Plato’s laws / Plato’s statesman: The web of politics / the death of Socrates and the life of philosophy. The American Political Science Review, 90(3), 638. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/214434881?accountid=45049
Priel, D., & Sandel, M. J. (2010). Justice: What’s the right thing to do? International Journal of Law in Context, 6(4), 418-422. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1744552310000376
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