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Name: Shiladitya Ghosh Class: 4.

16 Enoch (22) Date: September 2009, Term 4 POD Essay

What is THE GOOD LIFE?
In this 21 century, life is as demanding as it is provisionary on each one of us. Those who reside in the digitally inter-connected world and those who live in isolation both lead lives that are exponentially more comfortable and convenient, compared to the life of an ancient Greek living more than 3000 years ago. To the Greeks, though, there existed a concept of an intangibly ‘good’ life which they termed as eudaimonia, which was variably taken to represent pleasure or wealth to the have-nots. With the dubious rd boon of technology, the lifestyle led by even those who reside in some 3 -world countries today might seem as eudaimonia to the Greeks, were they still around. Yet, as the standard of living has progressed since that time, so has the necessities defining one to have a ‘good’ life. Back then, life was probably not as materialistic as it is now, where we feel we need every luxury there is (such as a car, designer clothes, television) and do not openly pay heed to our morals and ethics, while for the Greeks, more often than not honor or nobility was what they wished to attain, rather than tangible things. These perspectives on a ‘good’ life that we obtain from the ancients are rather elementary in light of the complex idea they attempt to define, only requiring one factor to be fulfilled (such as dying honorably, being a rich person, having a good health, being reputed, abiding by the law, etc.). In my opinion, the cause of their being elementary is that they are also superficial as well as selfish. None of the factors affect any other person but oneself, and are unappreciative of deeper meanings to life or even society. Moreover, this sort of perspective is a weak proposition to undermine a ‘good’ life, as it has to be admitted that there are a great number of people around us who would be unsatisfied with their lives even if they were the recipient or proprietor of all these wants. Those who want the intangible, such as servitude, justness, charitableness etc. would also have an equally deficient support for a ‘good’ life, with a similar number of people not feeling they are eudaimon even with these things in their lives. Since there are 2 sides to the matter, by logical extension it must mean that the actual matter constitutes both these 2 sides. This leads on to suggest that both these superficial as well as genuine subparts share a common determining property of being objectively ‘good’ in some way. In some cases, such a life might be called perfect, as it is well-rounded, covering both the physical and non-physical desires of a person, in other instances it might be called beautiful, due to the impact and impression it creates upon others apart from the self. Now, it is possible to disregard the notion of perfection as it is entirely relative and subjective to one’s views, however we should consider what is denoted by beauty as written above, for only when others are able to see a person’s life can t hey understand its goodness.
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