The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

1105 words - 5 pages

Socrates was considered by many to be the wisest man in ancient Greece. While he was eventually condemned for his wisdom, his spoken words are still listened to and followed today. When, during his trial, Socrates stated that, “the unexamined life is not worth living” (Plato 45), people began to question his theory. They began to wonder what Socrates meant with his statement, why he would feel that a life would not be worth living. To them, life was above all else, and choosing to give up life would be out of the picture. They did not understand how one would choose not to live life just because he would be unable to examine it.
     Socrates felt that if he was ...view middle of the document...

By living a life that was being examined, the citizens would be living a life that was, for the most part, also right. Socrates believed that a life that was not right was not worth living, which is why he also felt as though an unexamined life would also be not worth living.
     When Socrates was brought to trial for the corruption of the city’s youth he knew he had done nothing wrong. He had lived his life as it should be lead, and did what he needed to do. He knew he would be found guilty, and did not worry about the fact. Once he was charged and about to receive his punishment, he was given the chance to talk and provide alternatives to said punishment. Socrates shocked everyone when he said he would choose death over anything else. However, the answer to why he would do that lies in his statement. Socrates knew that, had he choose to go into exile, he would be expected to stop living the way that he was. He would no longer be able to teach others, let alone question and examine his own life. For Socrates, this would be absurd. He believed the entire point of living life was to examine. He felt obligated to live a life where he questioned not only what was going on in his life but also the rights and wrongs that happened. He would rather give up his life than not be able to question what was happening.
     Philosophy is about questioning life and the world one lives in. Without questioning and wondering, life and philosophy would be worthless. An unexamined life would lead to one that was without question and curiosity, something which Socrates could not fathom. Without the curiosity that comes with examining life, philosophy would fail to exist. According to Socrates, a great philosopher, life would not be worth living without the addition of the philosophical thinking that helped to make our lives more exciting and worthwhile. Socrates lived his life to question and to wonder. The addition of philosophy made this possible. If examining ceased to exist, so would the life of those who looked towards philosophy as a way of life. ...

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