Plato, The Symposium - The Good Life Essay

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The Good Life The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the things that make me “happy”, I think of love, stability and wealth. This is probably true for most people, with a few variations of course. One definition of happiness could be the state in which we have everything and what nothing. Someone is happy because everything he or she could ever want has been acquired so there is no wants. Plato had a completely different view of happiness. He believed that to be in a happy state and live a good life, one must reach a condition of total virtue. He believes that this virtue can be obtained by anyone and that the true answer of happiness is hidden in all of us. Of course, everyone is different, and different people are going to want different things. But once we are able to separate our needs from our wants, anybody could be happy. Plato has been one of the most influential individuals throughout history for the Western culture and the world. In essence, Socrates (Plato’s teacher) was too looking for the true meaning of a good life; Plato’s version is just a more beautiful version of his master’s. According to Plato, the good life is a harmonious life achieved through order and balance, a life of virtue and goodness. This same idea was one of the main Greek principles in life. They strived for progress, knowledge and harmony among their citizens. Plato’s writings examined justice, beauty, and equality. Only a moral person can be truly happy, when a certain level of inner harmony is reached, the soul fulfills its proper functions. But what does that exactly mean? For instance, a pencil is good to write with if it’s sharpened, that is its function. The soul’s purpose is living, but not everyone is using it for its intended function. According to Plato, great number of people chose to live a life that only has temporary satisfactions and pleasures and is

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