Knowledge—Virtue—Happiness

December 6, 2017

An unexamined life is not worth living, said by Socrates. This is one of the most profound quotes one ever read since life should be checked with standards. The point is what are true standards of life? is it those which are considered as legitimate or not? Are those standards that are considered as legitimate are righteous or not? Are the legitimate standards enough or not? Where such standards do should start from, thinking and feeling or wit outwardly manifested actions and reactions? What is the ultimate goal of life? Is it to be happy or what? How can people be happy, by religion, education, wealth, nationality, sex, or others?

When people become knowledgeable, they become virtuous as they become virtuous they become happy is also one of the statements made by Socrates. In such cases what is knowledge, virtue and happiness? This should be clearly identified and defined. Knowledge, virtue and happiness are directly related and connected since one leads to the other thru positive bridges of life.

This does lead to an idea that life has definite recipes like baking a bread or cake for one’s house hold. Who gives this definite recipe of life? Is this connotation practically true in the present world? How? Is it possible to say in here that people before today who deliver kind of recipe of life to our present day and future or it is up to the individual to find out kind of meaning for one’s life in one’s own way? Is following other people ideology or perspectives or recipes of life make humans to function as machine or human beings are beyond the machine too? Does following other people ideology or belief make void of the human freewill or not? Is there a real human free will while living in world where this world is already programmed by different kinds of ideologies and beliefs and people choose one for them and live up to it?

When people claim that they have standards, as they meet such give standards, such way of thinking do create a kind of comfort zones due to the fact the their given standards are not even checked. By doing so, they create legalized way of life and they become more self-centered since their way of life is to meet their given standards, which do create some kind of confusion as they face new and different circumstances of life which could not be discussed and written in their given manuals and standards of life, but such things could happen in the practical and objective world too.

Assuming that virtue is mostly referred to morally excellence in which most associate and incorporate such excellence to wealth, status, pleasure and social acceptance, it is also intriguing to claim that such elements of virtue leads any given person to state of happiness. In such case, does wealth lead to happiness in which most wealthy people are not even happy as result of being wealthy? If such elements of virtue cannot lead to human happiness, what elements of life can lead to such happiness?

Is happiness the end goal of life? Is happiness a process of life?  What is happiness? Is knowledge a way to happiness or disappointments? Is knowledge and happiness directly related or inversely related? Are the so called most knowledgeable people happy or sad? What does it mean by being knowledgeable? What is the basis of knowledge?

Knowledge is defined as facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject; it is also awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation. Based on such ground, knowledgeable person is a person who knows something thru experience, education and other opportunities of life in which a person has some kind of grasps in terms of something as well.

Bearing this in mind, what is practically observed in many different places and areas in life is that as most people know something, their disappointment and dissatisfaction in life also increases since they could know beyond what is on the face value. In world where tricks and deceptions are going on, as people know something on what is going on behind the curtain, their given life could be in chaos and frustration that do eventually lead to being sad than being happy. In this case, knowledge is something that needs further consideration.

On the other side and page of the book, when one sees a world where many complications and challenges are getting deeper and even worse, wealth and knowledge are key and sole actors of such kinds of human drama that can ably solve many problems of the world. In such case, being wealthy and knowledgeable makes people happy since they contribute great deal in solving societal problems and the contribute something to the world at large. Being knowledgeable in here means that knowing problems and delivering effective and efficient solutions as well.

This creates a kind of dimension as to what is meant by knowledge since a person who knows a place where his friends had dinner last night  and a person who experiments something in the laboratory and delivered scientific solution to the disease society is suffering are both knowledge, according to  its raw definition, but, when one sorts out further, the latter is real knowledge that helps society and the world at large, but the former one is a knowledge that could be futile too.

When knowledge is connected to virtue in here, the very meaning and interpretation of knowledge which is written between the lines is a knowledge that does lead to human happiness, not any kind of knowledge. The same is true to wealth in which most wealthy people are not happy and they are found frustrated in their given life. Here, wealth is connected to those kinds of wealth that lead to human happiness. What makes any given wealthy person happy may be another subject matter. But it is assumed that wealth—its methods and processes—are clean, it should lead to human happiness too.

What is quite interesting in here is that social status and social acceptance which makes and lead to human happiness. This is true since as people are accepted by society, their given social status increases, as such elements of life are high in one’s given life, a person become virtues and one becomes happy. But, the point in here is that what is the nature and character of society is the main things that should be investigated further.

Virtuous society gives honor to virtuous people and non-virtuous society gives honor to non- virtuous people as well. Good society gives honor to better people but bad society gives honor to worse people. Wrong society also honors wrong people. This is true everywhere. For instance, any given society gives honor to person who invents something new which is found in people’s regular activities of life. In societies where mafia and gang operations and activities are going on, the worse ones are highly respected and honor since in such kinds of societies, cruelty is needed and important.

Accordingly, when society delivers some kind of honor to people, is it based on true standards or fake standards, is it based on righteousness or unchecked cultural standards and norms, and other connected realities of life should be sorted out before the idea of social status and social rejections are considered. Likewise, there are wealthy and knowledgeable people who are honored by society and they enjoy social status and social acceptance. To the contrary, such kinds of people are not honored and respected in society too. In such case, the drama behind such stories and standards should be checked before arriving to any definite conclusions too.

Having standards is better than having no standards, but having fake standards that do lead to bogus and self-centered way of life is tricking and deceiving oneself. In such case, to have no standard is by far better since the point of having standard is to have the right and truthful human way of life which does not lead to trick and deceiving oneself and others as well.

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