I’ve been finding it difficult to come up with ideas for blog posts, which is why this blog hasn’t been very active lately. As such, I’d like to leave it up to the readers: what would you like us to write about? Would you like to know something specific about our atheism? Do you have an argument that you’d like us to address? Would you like us to discuss a particular book? Do you have any questions about Philosophy, Biology, or History? Would you like to know our stance on a particular feminist issue? Is there something else you’d like us to write on? Let us know in the comment section.
Tag Archives: life
What Is The Good Life?
In one of my classes today, we discussed the idea of “the good life.” The definition of the good life that we were given is “a life that is (sufficiently) intrinsically good for the person whose life it is.” That is, of course, only one definition of what the good life is. But what does that definition mean?
In class we talked about different types of good lives. There is the morally good life where the person lives a life within a set of moral guidelines, there is the instrumentally good life where the person’s life as a means to some further end, there is the aesthetically good life where a person lives a life of comfort and beauty, and there is the religiously good life where the person leads a life where they have followed the guidelines of their religious belief. There are many other types of good lives, but these are some of the main types. However, “the good life” is not the same as any of those good lives “the good life” is more of a prudentially good life, or a “good for me” good life.
One thought on the good life that we looked at stated that “the intrinsic value of a life no matter whose life it is derives elusively from the intrinsic values of the satisfaction (accomplishment) and frustration (inability to achieve) of a desire.” Basically, intrinsic value comes from whether or not you accomplished your desire. My professor made two good points about this idea. The first is that this thought implies that the number of desires you accomplish determine how good your life is, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. It seems as though people can lead better lives having accomplished less desires simply by being more ambitious. The second idea is that actual desires may be accomplished, but they may not be satisfactory. For example, someone may desire to join the army because they have dreams of being a hero, but then they join and realize that they don’t enjoy working within the strict hierarchy of the military. They accomplished their desire, but they weren’t satisfied by it. Instead, it seems as though we should look at theoretical desires, or the desires that a person would have if they had all the information and were rational. Basically, the facts are what makes accomplishing the satisfaction good, not the desire.
The idea in this class is that “the good life” is somehow objective. Not in the sense that there is one set of things that is good for everyone, but in the sense that, while the details may change, there is a definition of “the good life” that applies to everyone. It is possible to look at a person’s life and say “they led a good life” or “they led a bad life.” And people can be wrong about whether or not their life was a good one.
I’m not yet sure how much of this I actually agree with, but I thought it was worth sharing. Part of me agrees that there is some way to judge whether another person’s life was good, but I’m also not so comfortable about the concept of telling someone that their life was terrible when they say that their life was good. I suppose I’d prefer to look at it in degrees. If a person says their life was good, but they were abused and neglected, I’m not going to agree with them. But if a person says their life was good but they complained a lot about their job and regretted never traveling, I’m not going to disagree.
What are your thoughts about “the good life”? Does it exist? Is the given definition a useful one?
Trying to Write
Writing has become difficult as of late. I have tried to write as much as possible since I finished my book in February, but it has been difficult. My school semester is wrapping up now, so I am finding myself busy with papers and finals. I also spent a good portion of March feeling ill. As such, I have not been writing daily. It has been hard because I want to finish my second book in May so that I can make a second attempt at a writing contest (my first try failed miserably, but now I can fix up that book and hopefully still get it published).
I have been struggling a bit with my emotions lately. I find myself unable to care about school. I just want to write. I am considering taking a year off of school, but I am really close to graduating. It is hard to determine what is the best choice for me. However, I do have fairly big plans for my writing. I want to finish my second book in May and then write a third book (for another contest) for July. Then I intend to write a series of short stories for September (for a third contest). Hopefully I can do well in, or, better yet, win, one of the contests and get published. But if not, then I will fix up the three novels and all the short stories and try to get published in a more traditional fashion. My goal right now is to be published by 26, so I have a little over a year to accomplish this.
My plans for the future are unclear right now. I don’t know what I want to do other than get published. I used to have a plan. I intended to graduate, get married, travel for a year, move somewhere to settle down for my career, get financially stable, and start a family. It was my “by the time I’m 30” plan. Now I want to write. I want to get published. But few of my other plans still matter to me. I hope that I can get my motivation back soon.
My partner and I have had a rough year. We are both university students at the end of our degrees. University is tough enough as it is. What with a full time course load and papers to write and tests to study for. We also volunteer. But it seems as though we get hit with one bomb shell after another. Just when our lives have finally settled down we get yet another bomb shell dropped on us.
Don’t get me wrong: we are extremely lucky. We have been together for over a year and our relationship is as strong as ever. We have been able to move into a place of our own and have enough money saved up so that we do not have to work while we are going to school. I wish everybody could be so lucky. But dealing with stressful situations, especially the ones that nobody expects to deal with so young, can make it impossible to see the bright side.
After dealing with a series of deaths, having to move multiple times until finally being allowed to settle down, and having to fight to move into our place, we really just want to finish school and enter the so-called ‘real world.’ But now we have another problem: despite actively trying to prevent this very thing, I have discovered that I am pregnant. It’s not what we wanted, and it’s not what we needed, and now I am very conflicted.
My partner and I are both pro-choice. We believe that abortion is a perfectly acceptable action if that is what the pregnant woman feels is best. My partner believes that an abortion is the best option for us. We are still in school and we want to travel. I’m not so sure. Yes, having the baby will make school more difficult, but we both only have one year left. Travelling will be harder, but I want to make it work anyway. I want to give my children the opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures. We already plan to get married after we graduate and we have not only decided that we want kids, but we have already decided how many kids we want and that we want to adopt as well as have our own. Deciding to have an abortion when you know that you want kids is very difficult. It feels like a waste. I can see the merits of both sides and that is what is making me so conflicted. One the one hand, my life would be much easier if I had the abortion and waited a few years to have kids. On the other hand, I have a kid already in the making.
I have been going through periods of depression as a result of the pregnancy because I don’t know what the best option is. I have a feeling that whatever I choose will cause me periods of regret, and I think that I might feel as though I made the wrong decision either way.
I can’t help but feel that my decision is being forced by an unfair system. I am five weeks along. I have until week 7 to do a medical abortion and week 12 to do surgical abortion. That means that my decision making process is rushed. I had to schedule the abortion before I had time to think about whether or not I actually wanted one. Now the abortion is set up and I am trying to decide if I actually want to go through with it. I have until Monday to decide. How can anybody decide that they are ready to be a parent in a week? I wish I knew what to do, but I know that I have a tough decision either way and neither option is one that I would have chosen given the choice.