Every human being tries to cognize this world and find his/her place in it. These attempts are an integral part of our nature as they make people discover new phenomena, and evolve. Founders of a classical philosophy like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, also revolved around this very issue. For this reason, Socrates even suggested his own term examined life. It could be defined as the consideration of the nature of any action that will be performed by a person. Before making any step, an individual should communicate with others, and understand the nature of this very action, and only under these conditions he/she will live an examined life.
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Besides, there are vigorous debates related to the question whether examined life is worth living or not, and whether people should adhere to the concept of unexamined life, which is more interesting and promising, or not. Besides, using the idea of the good life as the main criterion for the evaluation of these aspects, we should provide the idea that only actions that result in the improvement of the current state of society and its evolution should be considered appropriate. For this reason, only examined life could be considered the good life as it helps individuals to evolve and contribute to the development of any community.
We should say that Platos Allegory of the Cave could be used to prove the importance of an examined life and the role a person living according to this principle might play in the community. This allegory introduces the idea of people living in a great cage with poor light. They see shadows on walls and consider them real objects that should be investigated (“The Allegory of the Cave”). However, one person manages to leave the cave, and he/she sees a real world, with sunlight, and other objects. He/she obviously tries to persuade people that there is another world that should be cognized. We could say that only in terms of examined life this person will return and try to alter society as he/she realizes the importance of this action and the impact it might have on the whole community. Only life in the new world could be considered a good one and community should realize it.
We could use The 11th Hour as another example of the unique importance of examined life. In case all people think about the character of their actions, their impact on the planet and environment, the state of the Earth will be much better. This documentary shows us that there are numerous problems at the moment that come from disregarding of the existing societys needs, or unexamined life (Conners). For this reason, it is crucial to analyze basic virtues and act in accordance with the current situation. Only under these conditions, we will be able to create wise and constantly developing society.
Besides, here is a certain real-life example that could be used as the evidence to our statement. For instance, a prostitute sleeps with people for money. It could be compared to people who act trying to obtain some benefits. They do not think about virtues or other values; they just perform actions that might bring benefits.
There is obviously a counter argument to this idea which states that acting in this way a person stops to be himself/herself which contradicts to his/her nature and it also makes you selfish as you want to become popular within this very society. However, it is not the same. Adhering to the principles of an examined life, a person improves living conditions of other people, and it could be taken as an altruistic step. For this reason, we could conclude that even in case a person acts to promote the rise of a community, he/she still contributes to his/her own evolution, and it is the only mode of life that should be appraised.
“The Allegory of the Cave.” Washington. Web.
Conners, Nadia, director. The 11th Hour. Warner Independent Pictures, 2007.