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Unexamined Life not Worth Living

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Philosophy in Seven Sentences by Douglas Groothuis is an amazing book that introduced philosophy in just seven sentences. The author has done an incredible work by explaining such an important topic in philosophy just in this small book. From a single sentence and a brief history of the philosopher’s life, he showed us how those philosophers teaching and ideas affected our world and societies today. He took those deep sentences from great philosophers and made them easy to understand by an ordinary person like me, who have not taken any philosophy class before.

At first, when I saw this book, I panic, because I have never taken any philosophy class before as I mentioned above. I always hear my fellow students talking about how tough this subject is. However, as I was reading through it, I have found it a little bit easy. It might be because the author did a good job and try to make as simple as possible, or it required attention to the sentences, and deep focusing on their meaning.

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This book might seem easy to me our any ordinary person, but one chapter could be another study for a philosopher. The author took those seven philosophical saying and introduced them to us in a simpler way. From Socrates idea of the unexamined life is not worth living to Kierkegaard warn, “The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world as if it were nothing at all.” Since I have entirely read this book, I cannot leave some of those incredible sentences out of my reflection paper. I will include them here in my introduction and briefly, explain them. Those sentences are important in the philosophical world, they are very deep and one could write a book out of only one sentence. But it not the case here. I’m taking this course as an introductory level, so I will not go deep into it. These philosophical sentences are very important, they make us think deeply about the problem that we struggle with inside of us. We struggle to find meaning to problems that we faced every day in our life. Therefore, those famous statement open doors for us to look at those problems and find solutions for them.

First, I would like to start with Protagoras with his saying, “Man is the measure of all things.” This statement by the ancient Greek philosopher made a lot of controversy among philosophers during his time. It means that the individual human being, rather than a god or an unchanging moral law, is the ultimate source of value. People during his time did not appreciate his theory they began to question him. The second one is Socrates claim which caught my attention, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates said this statement during his trial. He basically urging that living a life where you live under the rules of others without examining what you actually want out of it is not worth living. Socrates statement is very interesting, it made think a lot about myself after reading. I decided to continue writing my reflection paper about it. The third is Aristotle who said that “all men by nature desire to know.” He means that all men were born knowing right and wrong which means that they have a habit by birth called Curiosity, to know what around them. The Forth is by Augustine, “You have made us for yourself, and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in you.” After Augustine wrote his confession he reflected on his life as he became a Christian. He argued that human feel a real guilt, stemming from an awareness of objective morality, and since the only remedy for this guilt is in God’s provision, rest can only be found in him. The fifth saying is by the French philosopher, mathematician, and the scientist Descartes, “I think, therefore I am.” Descartes was looking for something, which is the mind and the body problem. He came to realized that thinking required a thinker if you think that means you exist. The heart has its reason for which reason knows nothing.” By Pascal, he was pointing to basic beliefs, end first principles on which all other beliefs depend. The last one is by Kierkegaard,” the greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all.” He seems to point out the inner struggle we have in our own self. Those sentences are really deep and they telling us a lot of things that we deal with in our daily life and the one phrase that stood out and agreed with is the statement by Socrates” The unexamined life is not worth living.” I think it is a great statement that one could learn a lot from it.

I have read this chapter twice, and each time I read it I discover new things. This famous statement extremely showing that we should first exanimate our self before exanimate other people, then by doing that we will be able to live a meaningful life and then will be happy. And this reminds me with the statement that Jesus said in Luke 6:42 how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye when you yourself fail to see the plank in your eyes? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother ’eyes.” I strongly agree with Socrates statement. To live a worthy life, one must examine himself first. One should know himself really well before examining others because we do not live for our self only but for others as well.

We have people around us we deal with on daily basis. In order to live in harmony with them, we have to know our self really well so we can live a life that worthy of living. I think this statement is really true. After reading the chapter about it, I started to think about myself. I begin to question my life that I’m living. Is it worthy of living? However, for years people have been struggling to find an answer for the purpose of their life and this phrase opens a lot of people mind about whether their life worthy of living or not. I really love this Socrates method. To live a happy life I should know myself first.

I know that I am living in a world that keeps changing every day. It is very important for me to know myself and the purpose of my life here on earth. I believe if I did not know myself, my life will be worthless. I will be live like an animal following my instinct, my thinking will be limited about myself. This encourages me to know myself and set clear goals to find meaning in my life and be happy and make the people around happy as well. Moreover, sometime when I do things right


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