Reflections on Socrates

Socrates posed the idea that the unexamined life is a life not worth living.   The concept behind this rings true for me on a variety of levels. On a personal level the culture surrounding us continuously sells us a bill of goods on how to think act and speak.  It is commonplace for a person to accept the “standards” of success, beauty and happiness that is flashed in front of them. In reality those ideals can be unattainable and leave us empty. On a professional level there are many who would qualify their work by certain benchmarks and the professional world would uphold those as the keys to success. But what if their is something more? What if success is more fluid and less concrete a concept? On a spiritual level as a Christian it is easy to fall into the trap of going through the motions and adhering to the “do’s and don’ts”  list that we like to promote.  But what if Christianity is more than prayer, study and going to church three times a week?  Does abstaining from sex, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and foul speech really qualify me to be a golden boy of the Christian faith?  To me a life unexamined means accepting the status quo which means missing the point and the greater things in life. Average is okay but in any arena in this world average does not accomplish much. As a avid sports fan I know that if your team is average there will be some changes made , usually starting with leadership.   Average does not take much effort and  as the adage goes “nothing worth anything comes easy”.

To question the truth of Socrates statement appeals for ,what I believe to be ,a complicated answer.  At the core of the statement and the beginning of complication is the word “worth”.   As I have learned in the few lectures that  I have covered to date the principle focus of philosophy is to question and discover truth about fundamental ideas. So when we discuss the “worth” of something we have to ask “What is worth” and “Who determines worth”.   There is also some problematic phraseology here at the end of the statement.  Surely we would not advise someone to take there life if they were not willing to examine their lives. Could their lives make an impact if they simply accepted the status quo?  I am positive that there are many people that have accepted th status quo that are dearly loved and treasured.  They may find fulfillment in the status quo but may also be blind to what they are missing.  It seems that from an outside in perspective that the statement has merit but their are many other co-factors that need to be addressed before it can be expressed as implicitly true

 

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