“Excellence and quality is not an act it is a habit!”

“Excellence and quality is not an act it is a habit” – To achieve excellence it is important to nurture your habits.

Do you want to make a change or maybe excellence in a certain fiels? – Then You need to start with habits that you need to incorporate into your life.

Throughout the ages of mankind, there have been many deep thinkers. Some have been known more than others and have become household names. Socrates was one of the Giants in this category. He left behind many ideas and teachings that are still at work today, helping shape our Western society as well.

“Excellence and quality is not an act it is a habit!”

Socrates 

The philosopher under fire

It’s always easy to go back and look at the thoughts and ideas of past generations with disagreement. For many reasons but mainly because as time changes so do we, so do our ideas. This can become a paradox of sorts as we now see with this famous quote he left us. Even though it is now widely thought of as untrue it still remains a part of large religions, philosophies, and teachings.

Strange right?

With the broad philosophical strokes painted by our genius’s of thought, it can be easy to misunderstand their original meaning.

Meaning is what it really comes down to if validity is questioned. The controversial quote has definitely reached this point, so now we ask: What did he mean?

What is a life worth living?

What does anyone of us really know? Honestly? Do we know that the sun will rise tomorrow? Or that the oceans will stay put?

The word “know” is difficult to wrestle with sometimes and tends to be thrown around…

A LOT!

The past is easier to deal with though, for instance: I know that I woke up yesterday. So to find out the context of Socrates’s “unexamined life” quote we need to know him and his ideals as closely as possible.

Unfortunately, he left zero written teachings behind, so we turn to his students: Plato and Aristotle.

After looking at what they left behind we quickly see that these two students adopted very similar thoughts on life. They both believed in virtue, truth, knowledge and ethical behavior. They also placed immense importance on one of their teachers’ most famous answers: “know thyself!”

Know thyself

Is this so different from the quote that clearly tells us to examine our lives? No.

Then why is one accepted and the other under fire? It is very simple and comes down to the last part of his quote.

When he says “life is not worth living”. People thought this was an arrogant statement given that we are so diverse.

I have always wondered at the quote “knowledge is power”. Why not “the application of knowledge is power”.

Knowledge is useless unless you use it, so what is knowledge without application? Well, I think Socrates would disagree with me for a very important reason.

Knowledge is a powerful thing in itself only because as conscious beings knowledge becomes part of who we are. It becomes ingrained in us on a level hard to comprehend.

When I say knowledge I mean true knowledge, not the fact that we read a book and believe some of what it says.

True knowledge is special, and I think Socrates wanted us to understand that.

When we gain knowledge it becomes a new part of us, we become something more. If this is the case, what would you want to understand most of all?

Ourselves? That seems to be a good place to start.

A point of reference

Imagine this: You are born just as you were before but on a different Earth. The two Piles of the earth are the exact same except for one thing.

The new one has no light at all. No sun, fire, light bulbs, or any way to see anything. If this happened to ask yourself, what would you call the darkness?

Nothing, everything, it would just be. Simply because there is no point of reference to distinguish its existence.

There is no opposite and there is nowhere to start.

Final words on excellence in life

Unless we examine who we are, examine our lives, we lose our point of reference.

We will go through life blind, deaf, and hardly with any real understanding of this controlled chaos we call life.

I think that our late Greek Philosopher wanted us to enjoy our lives. And maybe, just maybe, when we get to the point in which we know ourselves something amazing will be born. Maybe we will agree with Socrates.

Maybe we will wish we had all done it sooner.

Moral virtue is the first step to living a life of true excellence. Your ethics and morals must be excellent so you can build your life over the best possible foundation. Do not believe anyone who says that morals are not something important in your life.

Happiness is an important part of your life, and that is something that you need to achieve. Do not forget to mix experience and theory with your habits.

If you want to become the best golf player, you have to study the best books about it and practice like crazy.

We have talked about what excellence entails so you can truly know a thing or two about it. Aristotle said that you have to incorporate this habit into your daily life so you can see what you can do. This habit can truly become something great for you.

We cannot stress enough the fact that excellence is a habit and you should do it yourself because no one else will do it for you.

Can a Society Exist Without Culture?

We see culture every day and everywhere. Culture is part of our life and part of our being. It entangles us on an individual basis and on a group basis. But can a society exist without culture?

Understanding Culture

Culture is ideally a set of norms, values, and ideas that defines or exemplifies a society.

But then again, how does a particular society acquire these attributes? How are they formed?

The reply lies within the prevailing dynamics in a particular society. To be precise, in the mutual characteristics common in all societies.

To begin with, every other society that exists has some sort of relation. In other societies, these relations are small while others are huge and multi-generational.

Other societies exhibit patriarchy, for instance, in some society the male lineage is most significant while others practice matriarchy where the female lineage is highly significant.

In essence, there exists “haves” and the “have-nots” in each society, with others exhibiting vast discrepancies between the splendidly rich and the dirt-poor, and while others have differences not closely as great.

Can a Society Exist Without Culture?

To give a proper response to this, one will need to craft an open definition of the term culture.

While at this, culture in social sciences implies everything about the human society that transcends down not in biological aspects.

Moreover, culture runs down from art to food to the government to the hunting techniques. Ostensibly, the only exceptional things that are not culture-related are biological things such as the fact that humans die and also that women give birth to new humans.

From a deeper perspective, if we view culture in a more precise way, then we can understand why culture is essential for societal progress.

Without the aspect of culture, there would be no society

Again, devoid of culture, people would turn out to be animals, moving along and doing things based on the human instinct, which transcends down biologically.

In simple terms, the only culture can have an absolute capacity of creating a society with different traditions, customs, and values.

Reflecting on Society and Culture

Each society has an aspect of religion. In other cases, this implies severe laws enforced by influential clerics while in other cases it implies a free spirituality sense with which religious leaders only serving as helpful leaders.

Culture being an age-old concept tracing back to Ancient Greece and Rome, one can, for instance, learn that a person’s reputation is tethered to society or city of origin, which in most cases was applied directly as a last name, for instance, the Athenian Lawmaker.

Going deeper, Socrates, for instance, had an accusation from a jury of undesirably persuading the youth of Athens. He opted for his penalty over exile since the latter would have uncovered him of his entire Athenian citizenship, an aspect considered to be an integral part of his respective culture and identity.

He sought posterity to understand and remind him as an Athenian or Greek philosopher, but not an individual who resulted in assimilation by a different culture while in exile.

Contemporary, we tend to emphasize the individual place of origin, society, and culture to which one belongs as a matter of priority to identify and help understand them.

In other words, culture is primarily what holds a given society together and acts as a sort of reference point in any given society. Here, without culture then a “society” cannot stand to be a society yet.

Relationship between Culture and Society 

Society and culture are very much co-existent.

Surprisingly, one cannot exist without the presence of the other. Culture and society comprise some mutual fundamentals even though the two may not be similar or identical, the crucial variance is that society comprises people while culture entails knowledge, customs, ideas, traditions, beliefs, folkways, skills, institutions, artifacts and organizations.

Interestingly, society is a combination of people with diverse cultures. Conversely, culture deals with the language, food, behaviors, and activities of specific people within an environmental aspect.

Society is mainly a group of individuals existing collectively while culture is essentially anything subsequently made of the aforementioned people. Notably, culture is seen as an institution that attracts cohesion and endurance.

It may have a pool of diverse meanings and relationships but it forms population traits and behavior, beliefs and values.

On the deep side, the relationship among the two is consequently very much extant with culture affecting ways in which the people respond to thoughts and changes while the society being more or less the “external structure”.

No culture! No society!

Retrospectively, through culture, one can express personal uniqueness in all human life aspects, like beliefs, food, schooling as well as sports among many.

On the flip side, any human being in existence in a given society, then this society comprises its culture and values, thus for each human being is a cultural being.

Culture – A Culprit that Divides the Society 

Whereas serving to unite people, culture also serves, adversely as a division tool on the same lines. In harmony, a universal union surpasses thousands of limited cultures as they attract redundancy.

We may no longer have the desire to extricate our human selves in a superior means through customs, religions and or languages, while our traditions and customs celebrate our human differences.

Final Words on Society and Culture Co-Existence

To sum up, it’s always a fact! Any given or existent society cannot function without the aspect of culture. The aspect of anarchy is perhaps the closest we as a race could get devoid of culture, and since there is no assembly of people that has upheld simply anarchy for a protracted expanse of time, anarchy is therefore impossible.

In other words, America has a culture. Southern America does too. Other nations have culture too. Subsequently, every humans’ collections have a need or desire to endure some kind of order, which again necessitates culture.

Ultimately, culture is not a fix and rigid tool but rather it is a way of operating in a specific condition so that if an individual faces isolation from his or her main culture, then one would certainly subsist with his or her own culture.

This subsistent culture would again sound simple and noticeable that the same very different would coexist in his current culturally complex counterparts and since most humans create a culture and this culture, as a result, shapes the same human, this can be thought a comparison of mass of matter. Any time a matter gets formed it becomes an intrinsic property of mass.

Likewise, when a collection of humans gathers instinctively, a deliberate conscious culture is created. This collection of people does not invent a sort of culture but rather struggle and co-operate with the external physical world as a result of common behavior of dealing with the surroundings that seep into them.

Thus, it makes great sense that society cannot exist without culture since it’s like thinking matter without the aspect of the mass.

 

Why beauty is associated with morality?

Throughout the history of Western Culture, philosophers have always associated the good, the beautiful, and the true. These elements are known as transcendentals of philosophy. Furthermore, these transcendentals lead to associating beauty and morality.

This association has roots dating back to Ancient Greek philosophers such as Parmenides, Socrates (as recorded by Plato), and Aristotle. Running through Medieval philosophy, as seen in the influence of St. Thomas Aquinas, reflected in the aesthetic musings of Kant, and even influencing later philosophers.

In fact, four branches of Western philosophy have developed to explore these fields.

Ethics explores issues of the good, the moral, and the just.

Aesthetics examines the meaning of the beautiful.

Epistemology and logic dissect various aspects of the truth.

Together, each of these branches contributes to our over-all metaphysical understanding: what it means to be a being in the world.

Parmenides – the father of metaphysics

The pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides is considered the “Father of Metaphysics” for being the first Western philosopher to explore that which constitutes and coincides with being itself. His considerations laid the groundwork for the development of Western philosophy.

Socrates, and his disciple, Plato, held with the prevailing wisdom that happiness, beauty, was the telos of morality, the end to which all virtue was directed.

To live a virtuous life, a moral life, was to attain the highest state of well-being.

In his Symposium, Plato defines beauty in terms of the order. It is an objective principle external to both the object and the perceiver. Simply put, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder.

Similarly, morality itself, virtue-based ethics, is objective. It is based on objective notions of what is good and what is just. In Plato’s Republic, Socrates demonstrates that it is always in one’s best interest to be just. Therefore, by extension, also striving to live the life of beauty.

Aristotle, while breaking with Platonic thoughts on many fronts, maintained the connection between beauty and morality.

The golden ratio is one of the expressions where math meets beauty and philosophy.

His famous “golden mean” or “golden ratio” is applied to understandings of both beauty and morality. Both his Eudemian and Nichomachean Ethics speak of virtues as being lived in balance. An excess or deficiency of an otherwise virtuous behavior becomes a vice. An excess of courage, for example, is foolhardiness, whereas a deficiency of courage is cowardice.

Similarly, beauty is considered a physical manifestation of this golden mean. A beautiful object is an object in which all of its proportions are mathematically symmetrical. Thus, beauty and morality are measured by the same standard, albeit in different ways.

Influence of Plato and Aristotle to the concept of morality and beauty

The influences of both Plato and Aristotle continued to be felt throughout the Middle Ages. Beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire, and continuing through to the dawn of the Renaissance.

Throughout this period, the Roman Catholic Church dominated philosophical thought.

One of the most notable philosophers of this period was St. Thomas Aquinas. In his Magnus opus, the Summa Theologica, Aquinas describes beauty as “that which gives pleasure when seen.” Therefore, according to his thinking, beauty serves as a function of cognition, as it takes discernment to recognize what does or does not give pleasure.

The function of moral discernment is similar to the function of aesthetic discernment, in this view. Aquinas builds his definitions on Aristotelian grounds, although he puts a distinctly Christian spin on his exploration of morality vis-a-vis sin.

Kant solidified the connection between beauty and judgment

During the Age of Enlightenment, German philosopher Immanuel Kant further solidified the connection between beauty and moral judgment in his 1790 Critique of Judgement. Aesthetics is again linked with teleology.

Beauty is considered in terms of absolute standards, although it is separated from cognitive judgments that seek to ascribe moral valence to even a beautiful object. Similarly, in his 1785 Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant had previously established morality as being determined in absolute terms. It is clear to those who study Kant’s works that his absolutist methodology links both beauty and morality in a de facto association.

Modern-day phenomenologists, notably the “Father of Hermenuetics” Hans-Georg Gadamer, have continued to draw associations between beauty and morality in their works. The association of all that is moral, beautiful, and true, continues to be held as a standard for what it means to live a “good life.”

So, as a conclusion, we can see that morality and beauty have been going hand-in-hand since ancient Greek times. As a result, association so deeply entrenched in our philosophy that it continues to be revisited at every period of our philosophical development.

Does life have a meaning and how to approach life meaning?

I can say with a certain confidence that question –  “Does life have a meaning?” – is the most popular question that arises in a certain group of friends after they have had too much to drink.

Especially if this group consists of your average ‘Joe’, ‘Steve’ and ‘Bob’.

By no means do I imply that average is in any way demeaning towards this group. One can only be demeaning if one says certain things that are not true.

P.S. Stick to the last paragraph…

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Average Joe in Rollercoaster

Life is similar to roller-coaster – up and down and upside down!

Why has this question gained such immense popularity? Simply because media has made it into something big.

“You must seek the meaning of life!”

“Money is not the meaning of life, love is!”

“You will be happy when you find the meaning of your life!

These are only a few examples. While some of the stuff posted above and elsewhere in the World Wide Web may have some truth to it, the way how it is explained is utterly wrong.

All these generic stories are regurgitated by gurus all across the globe in all colors, varieties, and languages.

As a consequence, our beloved average Joe, Steve, and Bob start to seek their meaning of life without actually understanding what-the-actual-duck they are looking for.

Furthermore, they have no idea what will they do when (and if, obviously) they find this unique meaning to their lives except that it will allegedly make their life fulfilled and therefore happy.

Let’s look at this from a different perspective, using casual and simple terms. I look at people who try to answer the question of whether life has a meaning with pity.

Did that sound arrogant? Good!

Stick around and continue reading.

Have you ever been to a rollercoaster?

It’s fun, scary, amazing, disturbing and so many other things. The thing is when you sat in it, did you try to answer what is the purpose of it?

Let’s suppose you did although I am pretty sure you were too fucking excited or scared to think about anything else.

The rollercoaster takes you from place A to place B, preferably, in an entertaining way.

What else can take you from A→B?

Car…Bike…Legs… Heck, even hands if you are strong enough!

The main point is the “meaning” of the rollercoaster is not unique to the rollercoaster itself. There is nothing special about it. It just exists.

It takes people from A→B and that is it. Just like your life. It takes you from birth to old age.

You are going down that hill and you are feeling the breeze of the wind against your cheeks and you don’t give a damn about what is the purpose of the rollercoaster while it gets the job done. You were enjoying the ride!

What would happen if that wouldn’t be the case?

Take a wild guess. You might as well start reflecting about its purpose, what it’s meant to do, what it could do, while totally missing the whole point.

By thinking about all that you are not being delivered A→B in an entertaining way which was the one and only meaning in the first place!

Throw Out the Fast-Food

Throw out fast food! – Will You do it?

If you are just way too average, then you still are not getting my point.

It’s totally fine, I mean, the truth is 100% Raw, 100% Organic, and 100% stripped out of the last bits of Romanticism still left in the world.

It is not beautiful. It is not pleasant. But then again, hey, nobody promised you that.

Except, of course, all two-faced eels who bake inspirational quotes for breakfast only to later throw them on your Instagram plate and laugh while you gobble that shit down your throat.

Have you ever seen anyone grabbing onto carrot as their life depended on it? What about a chocolate bar or a burger?

Yeah, precisely.

Knowing the truth is more desirable for your emotional and mental health but since ignorance is bliss, you are better off getting morbidly obese on all the pseudo-facts delivered to you for free by pseudo-gurus.

Day-to-day.

Year-to-year.

Does life have a meaning?

After all this brainwashing, you feel unhappy only because someone told you that love is the way or helping others is the way, or getting children to take care of is the real meaning of life.

Love is great. Helping others is awesome. Children are amazing. There is one very relevant message I had the urge to tell you since the beginning of this post.

I just thought I should prepare you for it. Sit down, take a deep breath. LIFE DOES NOT HAVE A MEANING.

“Now That Just Can’t Be True. You Are A Cynical Bastard. How Dare You.” – you may say…

Anyone with some basic knowledge in biology will at least partially agree with me right off the bat. For those of you who don’t – Please, don’t limit yourselves to such generic accusations and, moreover, don’t let it grind you up from the inside.

Below there’s a comment section meant for meaningful discussions, be sure to thank me or hate me there.

The thing is, there is not a lot that separates humans from fish or from the tree growing outside your house that also happens to be your dog’s best friend every time he needs to take a leak. All living things have five things in common:

  1. Organization – all living things are made up of cells, their count may vary but they have a strict structure within the cell and cells themselves are organized in a neat manner.
  2. Metabolism – a mix of different biochemical reactions that allow the organism to sustain itself.
  3. Homeostasis – the ability of organisms (even if comprised of a single cell) to maintain optimal conditions for metabolism to happen.
  4. Growth – one cell becomes larger and many cells divide and accumulate to make the whole organism take a particular shape.
  5. Reproduction – Living organisms can reproduce themselves and create new living organisms.

Five things that must be found in an organism to claim it is alive. As you probably noticed, I didn’t add anything else.

Like, Meaning of life? How would you even define it? Do all living things seek to find the meaning of life? I hope you do find that as ridiculous as I do.

If we were to define a meaning to life then it is quite simple. Be Alive. Every single cell in your body wants to live as long as possible and that’s that.

Another problem with Life’s meaning, besides the fact that everyone’s trying to sell it to you is that you actually feel you are entitled to one just because you are a human being.

How arrogant and miserable is that?

Herein lies the cause of the pity I feel for everyone who is seeking for it. We are being taught that we are something special.

Nature’s wonder.

Born from a golden egg. The rough truth (Again!) is that our DNA (basically what defines the difference between species) differs by approximately 2% from that of chimpanzees.

Who’s laughing now about monkeys? You are no more than a next-gen chimpanzee. That tiny difference has been of great impact on our world around us, for sure, however, the fact remains the same. Feel special?

Religion as a meaning of life

I will start pressing the red buttons because the next point is religion. Religions come and go. If you are born in country A you are more likely to be brought up with religious views that are most popular there and it is the only determining factor.

Different religions have been trying to give you the same pseudo-meaning. A miserable one and yet, nevertheless, meaning. Basically, they say – be a slave.

Yep, you heard me, be a slave and everything else will be taken care of.

Be a slave to someone that is all super-powerful and although your life will be shit, at least you are going to get a sweet afterlife.

Just when you thought slavery was so 19th century-and-late, right?

Listen, I get it.

You are into banging your head against the floor, starving yourself when some dude tells you to and doing some basic thing that’s written in a fiction book.

It has no meaning in itself BUT somehow through decades and millenniums, we all have been trained to feel like this is the right way to live our lives because it’s easier to control a herd of sheep rather than a crowd of sheepdogs.

What I am getting at is that sure, we do have a cool thing called consciousness and abstract thinking and we can make neat stuff with it, explore the universe and what-not. The only problem for me is our total fucking inability to use it properly.

Our self-taught arrogance and the feeling of superiority, while mixed up with thousands of religions that blur our perception have deceived us into thinking we are something more than living, organic matter with the small bonus of being able to paint some shit on the fabric or build some shit in a more sophisticated way than our long-forgotten cousins.

Life Does Not Have a Meaning. Life starts, go on, you make a kid or two (or more if you are in Africa), and then you die. Max you can squeeze out of your life is planting a tree on top of your rotting body that is being eaten by worms a few days after your “soul has gone to heaven”. Hopefully, you don’t fucking care what happens to your body, since it was just a phase, just a temporary entertainment for your “meaningful and eternal soul” while it’s on a fast-lane to hell, paradise or whichever place you believe you deserve to go.

A Very Meaningful Postnatal Depression

If after this you come to the conclusion that your life doesn’t need a generic label then great, you have finally given birth to a useful thought after x years of your otherwise meaningless life.

While the thought of no-life-meaning can be depressing, it’s actually a good thing!

What to do with this information?

Do you feel empty?

It’s a good thing.

You can fill an empty vessel with a bunch of interesting, amazing and useful things. This time, put a lot of effort into this and leave all the crap outside.

Live your life as it is the only one.

You don’t get second chances. You don’t get to please your master or his servants in order to get a special VIP ticket to someplace special. Your organism possesses cool features but it’s hardly unique and those who say otherwise either lack necessary education or are just plain ignorant.

Is this it?

Should you just go to your 9-5, earn your 401(k) and get two children? Do what you like.

There is no meaning in life as much as there is no right way to live life. You are the judge to yourself.

Not the fictional character in the sky or below the ground. Not your brothers, sisters or friends. Be yourself.

Life is the meaning and the absurdity of life itself.

I understand your doubts about what you have just read.

Mull it over, sleep on it. Accept that you (a human being,a species) are not the center of the world and the sole ability to think abstractly does not guarantee you a ticket to world dominance Your life is not of bigger importance than that of the flower in your pot. It may seem so, but it is not.

There is another point that should be taken into account. While the flower can’t choose where to be in the pot you can.

You have granted certain cool features as I mentioned above. Use them, develop your own thoughts, share them, discuss them. Win arguments, Lose arguments.

Life in itself is purposeless. Nevertheless, you can become a rationally thinking and wonderful creature!

Be sure to check other posts regarding life meaning:

“The unexamined life is not worth living” – What does it mean?

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” These were the words that came out of Socrates’ mouth when he was asked to choose between penalty and exile.

Socrates chose his penalty over exile, but why?

Since there had been no further explanation regarding this statement, it sparked several arguments if this holds true or not. When he chose his penalty, would that meant that he gave up?

Amidst all these, the statement is something modern age still listens to.

Philosophers who lived through the years had different and opposing views on how and when to say that one has thoroughly examined their lives.

An examined life for Cicero is based on integrity and service whilst Seneca is to have meaningful goals.

Fyodor Dostoevsky defines examined lifelike human’s resistance from evil and misery. Whilst, Socrates see it as becoming wise and humble as human.

Yet, is there a wrong or a right answer to what constitutes an unexamined life is?

As the answer is all-encompassing, each philosopher raised valid points.

From which, other questions arise.

Would this mean that if you fail to examine your life, you are as good as a walking dead? How do you examine your life?

The philosopher under fire

It’s always easy to go back and look at the thoughts and ideas of past generations with disagreement. For many reasons but mainly because as time changes so do we, so do our ideas. This can become a paradox of sorts as we now see with this famous quote he left us. Even though it is now widely thought of as untrue it still remains a part of large religions, philosophies, and teachings.

Strange right?

With the broad philosophical strokes painted by our genius’s of thought, it can be easy to misunderstand their original meaning.

Meaning is what it really comes down to if validity is questioned. The controversial quote has definitely reached this point, so now we ask: What did he mean?

Is life worth living?

What does anyone of us really know? Honestly? Do we know that the sun will rise tomorrow? Or that the oceans will stay put?

The word “know” is difficult to wrestle with sometimes and tends to be thrown around…

Life is worth living!

A LOT!

The past is easier to deal with though, for instance: I know that I woke up yesterday. So to find out the context of Socrates’s “unexamined life” quote we need to know him and his ideals as closely as possible.

Unfortunately, he left zero written teachings behind, so we turn to his students: Plato and Aristotle.

After looking at what they left behind we quickly see that these two students adopted very similar thoughts on life. They both believed in virtue, truth, knowledge and ethical behavior. They also placed immense importance on one of their teachers’ most famous answers: “know thyself!”

Know thyself

Is this so different from the quote that clearly tells us to examine our lives? No.

Then why is one accepted and the other under fire? It is very simple and comes down to the last part of his quote.

When he says “life is not worth living”. People thought this was an arrogant statement given that we are so diverse.

I have always wondered at the quote “knowledge is power”. Why not “the application of knowledge is power”.

Knowledge is useless unless you use it, so what is the knowledge without application? Well, I think Socrates would disagree with me for a very important reason.

Knowledge is a powerful thing in itself only because as conscious beings knowledge becomes part of who we are. It becomes ingrained in us on a level hard to comprehend.

When I say the knowledge I mean true knowledge, not the fact that we read a book and believe some of what it says.

True knowledge is special, and I think Socrates wanted us to understand that.

When we gain knowledge it becomes a new part of us, we become something more. If this is the case, what would you want to understand most of all?

Ourselves? That seems to be a good place to start.

A point of reference

Imagine this: You are born just as you were before but on a different Earth. The two Piles of the earth are the exact same except one thing.

The new one has no light at all. No sun, fire, light bulbs or any way to see anything. If this happened to ask yourself, what would you call the darkness?

Nothing, everything, it would just be. Simply because there is no point of reference to distinguish its existence.

There is no opposite and there is nowhere to start.

Unless we examine who we are, examine our lives, we lose our point of reference.

We will go through life blind, deaf and hardly with any real understanding of this controlled chaos we call life.

How do you examine life?

Some argue that those who tried to examine their life and decides not to go through it all can be considered “examining life” by itself.

Somehow similar to the “falling in love with the idea of love” but not actually “falling in love” itself.

To examine life, do we measure it up versus a certain standard or is it about finding a meaning to it? If it is the former, to which standard should we measure it to? Whereas, the latter asked a profound question of how do you find meanings into your life?

In this age where everyone is on survival mode with barely enough time to ponder on their lives, human, in general, succumb to go with the flow. Following the standard set by everyone else, would that count as an examined life?

It is a standard in itself but would that be enough?

All these questions are under the premise that we have been brought to this life to be at our “fullest potential.” In the quest towards the best version of ourselves, conscientious effort to continuously assess our lives has to be made. The ability to think and examine sets humans apart from the rest of the creatures on Earth.

Failing to use this unique ability to think is like losing your purpose, which equates to dying.

Happiness Versus Fulfillment

In this journey called life, many argued between pursuing one’s happiness over finding fulfillment. Happiness in itself is subjective as it can take the form of tangible representation such as awards or material possession like house etc.

On the other hand, it can also be intangible taking the form of meaningful and deep relationships. As simple as it seems, many find this pursuit superficial. Happiness is fleeting and Earth bounded. Yet, a quest to find fulfillment or your purpose is more fitting towards the worthy life.

Examining life goes beyond having a checklist of your material possession to a profound understanding of current versus ideal state. The ideal as our fullest potential. And, seeking the fullest potential leads to look deeper into our spirituality, acknowledging the existence of a higher being or entity.

That the existence of humankind is not merely to fulfill its earthly desires but in creating a “dent in the universe.” It requires a higher sense of spirituality with the conscious effort to reflect, correct our own mistakes and contribute to society.

Our purpose is our birthright. We then need to go through the purpose of life examination.

The journey towards fulfillment is a never-ending tirade of searching and finding our place is in this vast universe. To make a difference where you are with unquenched thirst towards wisdom and love.

When that time comes when we are stripped down to our bare necessities, it is not what we have acquired materially that matters most but how our presence has contributed to society. The aim is for continuous progress, not perfection.

In conclusion, the statement “The unexamined life is not worth living,” is Socrates’ way of reminding everyone to spare some time for self-reflection. But a mere analysis would not make any progress without action. A life worth living is being mindful that you are a work in progress towards fulfilling your purpose in life in making a difference in this world.

How and Why Do Moral Dilemmas Help Our Society?

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted something but you weren’t comfortable with what you were about to do to get it? That could be a moral dilemma.

More often than not, when faced with a moral dilemma, we choose the easy way out. We know that the easy way will likely be to the detriment of someone else, but we still do it to serve our personal interests.

Other times, we choose to do the right thing because we can’t bear the burden of breaching our morals. Or simply because we believe we’ll get caught in the immoral act.

But where do these morals that hold us hostage come from and are they good for society? Morals are in most cases instilled within us by society, family, media, religion and other elements within our environment as we grow.

As we get older, our morals expand and evolve as our own conscious mind rationalizes and suggests to us what morals we should choose to follow or ignore.

Interestingly, what counts as generally accepted morals in one society will likely differ in another society. But regardless of what morals are generally accepted in your society, do those morals and their associated ethical dilemmas actually make your society a better place?

Many say yes, and we agree and here’s why.

Without Morals We are Nothing More than Animals

Many believe what separates from animals are higher brain function and opposable thumbs.

But morals are what truly separates us from beasts. Without morals, we’d live in a society where activities such as the powerful exploiting the weak and inbreeding like animals would be commonplace.

Thanks to morals, we can identify what is right from wrong and can then use our intelligence and willpower to choose to do the right thing for the sake of the sanctity of our society. It is because of morals we embrace concepts such as equal rights and respect for other life.

If everyone at the same time were to suddenly throw their morals out the window and act strictly on their baser instincts, the world would surely devolve into chaos.

Morals Help Us Evolve

When faced with a moral dilemma and the best course of action seems to be the wrong one, we are forced to think outside the box and come up with new solutions to the quandary.

Facing moral dilemmas activates our creativity as a society and helps us take our humanity to a new level to achieve better and greater things.

Moral dilemmas actually lessen stress

In a society where morals are an afterthought, the innocent tend to be stressed. This is because they live in constant fear that they will be exploited. But when a society is guided by sane morals, everyone can live in peace and happiness.

Sticking with morals also takes the burden off individuals who are forced to make unethical decisions that they are uncomfortable with. With ethical rationale to back up their choice to do what they believe is right, they can go about their business with a lighter heart.

So do moral dilemmas help society?

Yes.

How?

By keeping society sane and safe.

The moral dilemma in society is what grooms us to be reasonable, law-abiding and responsible people. Never underestimate the influence of morals, especially during our formative years. Without moral dilemmas to guide our actions, we’d be nothing but savages psychologically, financially, physically, and emotionally preying on one another.

That is not a society you or your child would want to live in.

Can a society exist without laws?

A Society rarely survives without some formed code of conduct. Thus it cannot exist without law, whether it is natural law or human law. From the very ancient period of human evolution, there is certain practice going on of law.

Since then the law has referred to be a needed term in society.

So can a society exist without laws?

In order to understand this concept, first, we need to understand what society is and what law is, and in which case law is essential.

Definition of Society

According to the definition of society by many philosophers, in short, society is an association or organization of individuals cooperate and behaving with one another and lives in the same place with the same genre of interest and lives under certain laws.

It is an organized group which is controlled by some strict norms and law.

What is Law Actually?

On the other side, if we simply look at the term “law”, we shall find the law is some code of control which governs our life and ascertain what individual can do and what they cannot. According to experts, Law is kind of a set of rules that are regulated by law enforcement or agency.

There are two types of law, one is a natural law and another is human law.

Natural law formed naturally in us. It built on human nature which is formed by virtue.

Human law is more of man-made law. It is formed by law enforcement and force society to follow them.

First and foremost, the most important law we follow is natural law. Although we weren’t born with these, these are formed throughout our life. Our environment, surroundings, culture, relatives play a vital role in it.

These things help us to build our character, our conscience. There goes a saying, conscience is the highest court anyone can face. Because you may flee from any law enforcement agency, but you cannot ever flee from yourself. That staggering pain of thought for breaking the law of conscience will follow you everywhere.

That’s why these laws are so much hard to break.

Importance of Natural Law

Natural law or moral law is established upon human nature. It is an instinct which shows us what we should do and what we shouldn’t. It is natural law by which we can understand the effect of doing a bad thing, and it makes us understand being punished if we do something wrong.

Thus this law can stop our inner spirit from doing any bad thing, and inspire us to accomplish some good. Natural law helps us to build trust, love, and affection towards people and not to hurt them.

The natural law of us can help to preserve humanity thus it brings peace which is very important.

It is as important for society as the heart is important to live.

Natural laws depend on the upbringing and the environment, and everyone’s law of conscience is different. For example, homicide might not be considered a bad thing for some, which we see among serial killers.

But a standardized law system is needed for a society to function properly. It cannot operate with the variability of natural law.

This is the place man-made laws come in.

Importance of Human Law

Human law is a kind of law that is regulated and conduct by a human. To avoid chaos and form a better society there is certain law enforcement to create some law. There is some common law established and abide by people throughout the world. With such law, people can settle under some obligation of rules and norms which they must obey.

Man-made laws are the set of rules which are standardized and recognized by a nation’s policymakers keeping in the thought of the culture, literature, religion, and lifestyle of the citizens.

These laws are also very much needed, as these serve as the standard of building the conscience of the citizens. Also, fundamental rights and safety can be ensured for citizens abiding by these laws.

The society can punish anyone breaking the law, to set an example and also giving the person a chance to set things right. It is important to establish human laws for every society and every community.

The law can strictly maintain human rights and control the violation with a hard hand.

A society cannot live alone; it must contain people of different ages and types. And when diversity exists, chaos can certainly take place. If no law is formed in society, different kinds of social problems like slavery, hierarchy rules, partition, and domination will be raised.

No human rights and no basic needs will be preserved if no law has existed.

In order to live a peaceful and undisturbed life without any mess, we must have a constraint to honor the law. It may lead us to do what is require and avoid confusion which can give us a well-regulated and more disciplined society.

So a well-balanced society cannot exist without law!

If you would like to dig deeper into the philosophy about the construct of modern societies we recommend studying the Frankfurter Schools works. Especially Karl Mannheim has some excellent analysis. His books are freely available since they are now in the Public Domain. You can download them here: https://holybooks.com/the-frankfurt-school-writings-selected-works-by-karl-mannheim/

Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?

In earlier days, the only entertainment system people had on their own was radio. Through the radio, they listened to the dramas, movies, songs, and news as well.

Nowadays, there are many entertainment units like Television, Music System and home theatre are available in almost all the homes. One could get theatre effects in the convenience of their home itself.

Isn’t that great?

Indeed, it is.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the technological advancements, some people even doubt that we are living in real world.

But, it comes with its own downside too. Instead of playing outside with friends, children are spending a lot of time in front of the Television. This would eventually lead to obesity in children.

Also, few children might end up having some sight problems as well.

Technological advancements made communication easier, or so it seems…

When it comes to communication, we could see a lot of advancements too.

Earlier, letters were used to send messages from one place to another. Telegrams were used in case of emergency messages.

Later, with the advent of the internet, electronic mail came to existence. Through this, anyone was able to send messages at ease. The telephone also made the communication process much easier.

But through mobile phones and smartphones, people are able to send messages easily. Internet plays a vital role in the advancement of the communication filed. It makes even the communication across the continent easier. Isn’t that really makes our life simpler? Yes, indeed. But, it brings its own disadvantages too.

People are often more addicted to their smartphones and spend more time in the virtual world through the internet. They often miss spending time with people around and miss to spend quality time with their loved ones every day.

What’s the use if the husband and the wife stay online all the time without having a real conversation among them?

Doesn’t that destroy the family values altogether?

Technology has made education for everyone, but it seems not everyone enjoys it…

In the field of education, technology is playing a vital role as well. Earlier, one has to go to school and universities to learn things. The traditional system still exists too.

But the way, students taught have changed.

Nowadays, the projectors are used immensely compared to the traditional blackboards.

Even students have the flexibility to learn the courses online. Numerous online tutors are available who could help the students and clarify their doubts anytime with ease. They don’t have to wait to go to school.

But one should understand the main purpose of going to school is just not for the sake of studying alone, it will make a person understand society better. It will make the students be part of a group and function efficiently. It will promote the teamwork too. The students will be able to network well by going to schools or universities. This benefit could not be completely accomplished in the online education system.

The students might get distracted and the meticulous learning is not really possible in the online education system. It has reduced the attention span tremendously.

Of course, the internet plays a huge part

Advancements on the internet are one of the major achievements done by technology. Through this, anything is actually possible. This has made communications much simpler. Through social media, one could keep in touch with their friends easily.

This helps in unveiling numerous career opportunities for the people as well. The Internet has made education simpler too.

Bill payments could be done using Internet banking. Money transfer has been made easier. Anything could be bought by sitting in one place using online shopping.

No commuting is required and people can shop at their own convenience.

But, it has led to major issues as well. Data theft is one of the emerging problems in today’s world. Hackers use the data and steal money using the internet.

Medicine has gone further, but can it go too far?

Much advancement has been observed in the medical industry. It has helped immensely to save the lives of many people. Few of the advancements are heart transplantation, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment, and knee or hip replacements.

These wouldn’t have been possible without the advancement of technology.

On the other hand, if one uses mobile phones or laptops for more time, it will cause vision problems, stress, sleep issues, and neck strain. More stress could lead to depression as well.

Coin (or technology) has two sides

Positive and negative effects of technology are like two sides of a coin.

The technology advancements have both positives and negatives. The positives definitely outweigh the negative effects. But, it is also necessary to mitigate the negative effects.

People should be educated about data theft and sufficient precautions have to be adopted to prevent it.

We shouldn’t get addicted to mobile phones and use them only when it is required.

We should be made aware of the negative effects of mobile phones.

Overall, people should understand the negative effects of technology and change should come from within oneself to change the world. This would definitely make the world a better place to live.

Is the universe real or are we living in simulation?

Over the years there have been claims of evolution, there have been claims of creation of the universe resulting from the big bang and from the religious aspect which is the creation story and in all of this one thing that remains constant and unchanging is the fact that curiosity plays a major role in most of the human endeavors.

Curiosity has been the reason for the major advancement in technology, the way we communicate, the way we process food and all of that – curiosity has basically given birth to discoveries and it the same light curiosity has brought up this salient question – Are we living in a simulation and is the world real?

Looking at it from various points of view we discover that there are valid arguments in favor of both questions.

The answer to these question has for long remained a mystery to all of the human race, the time has gone by and there has been no definite answer to the question but people have been busy with their various hypothesis. Each day someone comes up to give us reasons why he or she believes that this universe is not real and as they come with their claim there is someone else countering by saying that the universe is indeed real and things are just as they are.

Is there some reality?

It could be that we are being deceived by this reality and the truth is that all of this is an illusion. It could be that there is no such thing as reality and that everything we know, we are meant to know because our mind has built the illusion. A man once said that we are merely part of a community of minds, everything that occurs and the way we perceive life is all in the mind and that tends to say a lot.

Take the money, for instance, it is only paper but yet many kill for it as it has been given so much value – people kill and have fights about mere paper because of how much value they believe it possesses. We live by the mind, we do things because we think them first – researchers have not been able to prove that the earth is not real but speculations have refused to die regarding the issue.

Some people have strong beliefs that we may be living in a simulation – a computer simulation, a technology that makes what is not real seem real enough for us to believe it. It is very difficult for many of us to believe that we are living in a simulation as every single cell in our body rebels against it.

The feel of the breeze against your skin, the way your taste buds tingle when you eat and all of that are just too real to be a computer simulation – and because of it all we all rule the simulation talk as balderdash and conclude in our heads that the universe is real. 

We, however, cannot dispute the power of technology and its ability to create games that are realistic enough to momentarily make us believe that they are real, virtual reality is also one of the many results of how far technology can go and think about the universe in this light is enough to make you think again.

For many years, scientists have been thinking over and over in continuous circles – it will happen that one day the universe will be real and then the next there will be a new reason to doubt it.

Elon Musk and Neil DeGrasse Tyson thinks we might live in a simulation

Elon Musk believes that we might be living in a simulation but there have been some claims that indeed the computing power is very powerful and it is very capable of creating a mini world where each sim can be controlled or programmed to do one thing, it is, however, impossible for the world to be a simulation as the number of atoms it would take to create this reality and all the components that makes it what it is far greater than the number of atoms we currently have moving about the universe.

No proof has been given to either one of these claims but these claims did not just come to be, they have been since the days of the great philosopher Plato who along with many other colleagues believed that the universe is not a reality but rather it is an illusion.

He was not the only one from his time as about two thousand years ago, Pythagoras thought of numbers as non-material essence that brought about the physical world.

Physicists have been said to confirm that we do not live in a computer simulation, they have concluded that it is impossible to create something as infinite as our universe on even the largest of computers but even with this realization some physicists believe that it is going to be forever impossible to prove whether or not we are in a simulation as every piece of evidence we are able to retrieve my in itself be a simulation and every single thing we think might also be a simulation.

It could be that all of this process of trying to figure out what is real from what is not might just be us acting out a program where we are supposed to do exactly that and in the end, we will still have no legit answer that has been bugging minds for ages.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the museum’s Hayden Planetarium set the odds on a balanced scale and stated that he believes the chances could be very high and he pointed out that the same way we are superior in the area of intelligence to chimpanzees, in that same light it is very probable that there is a being out there that is far more superior than we could ever dream of being in the area of intelligence and in the eyes of such a being we might just be mere idiots.

Some final words on reality vs simulation

He said that for that reason he believes that our lives are just made up for the purpose of another’s intelligence.

There is no coming to a conclusion on any of this, there is no proof that the world is real and there is also no solid evidence that it is not.

There is however that one thing that cannot be argued about and that is the fact that real or not, our lives are merely what we make of them.

Every life on the planet might be a simulation or not but as it is none of it matters as much as how we live every moment.

Shaping Your Moral Pathway – Books and blogs about morality and ethics

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