Debate "What is the Good Life?"

Thibault Clemenceau will lead the discussion; the topic is one of the oldest in philosophy, and invites participants to consider what they consider to be the best way(s) to lead their lives - material vs "spiritual", individual vs communal, active vs passive, moral vs amoral benefits? Eloquence in advocating a particular "good life" may be critical. We may want to vote in the end on what seems to be the most attractive life?

 

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  • GuanKong

    The purpose of life and the meaning of life is different but often confused as the same. Looking at nature, the purpose (goal) of life is continutation of the species. That means completion of the life cycle. This is not a choice because you didn't choose to be born and that being so, you live your life, survive, reproduce and in due course pass away.
    The meaning of life is what each of us attribute to our journey in life. So we desire to be 'some' this or that. Some want to be famous, some want to be writer, and so on. Thus, it is the pursuit, aspiration, desires that define the meaning of life.
    Nature doesn't care what is your aspiration or ambition or wish. It will signal to you that you are hungry and you will do something to survive. And while you are still in your prime, stimulate you to reproduce until you no longer can perform! The purpose of life has been served by you. But you are not important, because you die but the species continue!
    So that is the good life.

    April 6, 2013

  • Julia N.

    Pity we didn't get to meet Thibault, but nevertheless the discussion was rigorous and interesting. It was great meeting everyone. Thank you all for sharing.

    September 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Guys, a summary discussion of what transpired during the meet has been posted in my blog at: http://subbaiyer.com/perspective/what-is-the-good-life

    September 3, 2012

  • Tim B.

    Subar stepped in to take a lead, and asked a series of questions which led to much interesting discussion. He made several attempts at summing up but no single theme emerged. There were perhaps fewer choices than appeared: the individual or others should take priority, happiness or fulfilling some goal. An interesting question is, was this philosophy? If no general principles which might be universal or necessary were even possible from the debate, were we doing philosophy? Ah, perhaps then there is more than one sort of philosophy?

    September 3, 2012

  • Kok M.

    Its good that everyone had a chance to speak up. And I was glad to know new people and feel their personality.

    September 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    A very interesting discussion yesterday. It had the richness, the depth and the views encompassed multiple frames. Thanks for the contributions and looking forward to seeing you again.

    September 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent

    September 2, 2012

  • Thibault C.

    Hi guys, I had also the bad surprise to see that the Raflfles Creamery was closed today.... Just came back home. I am very disappointed to not philosophy with you today.

    September 1, 2012

    • Tim B.

      Thibault, I waited there till 3.30 but we had to start. Email me on [masked]

      September 2, 2012

  • Aloysius

    It was disappointing that Tibault didn't turn up, due to circumstances, but Subbah conducted it very well, giving each person a turn to speak such that for the first time the meetup was truly democratic. However, the scope of debate was reduced due to time constraints. It was difficult to reconcile subjective ideas of good such that it applies to everybody. The discussion drifted towards mysticism.

    September 1, 2012

  • Ariel P.

    Hi Lee Yi Wen, the question is what is the good life not what is having a good life. I believe you are seeing the question subjectively because you never consider a people chose to have a bad life.

    September 1, 2012

  • Julia N.

    The Raffles Creamery is closed, so we will meet at Tea Joy opposite the National Library.

    September 1, 2012

  • Lee Yi W.

    Hi Ariel, I agree with your POV. Usually, the good life is subjective to one's thinking. But the aim of this discussion, is about the ultimate good life lived, probably just so we may all strive to achieve such a life.

    September 1, 2012

  • Hope of Savior '.

    Sure it is permissible...

    September 1, 2012

  • Kok M.

    I am bringing a friend along, if that is permissible. =p

    September 1, 2012

  • Ariel P.

    Im sorry guys I won't able to make it this afternoon due to my strict schedule.

    Anyway I would like to comment Lee Yi Wen because she/he see's the question subjectively, why don't we answer objectively. Ob my view, before I answer that question I need to ask first what is ultimate goal in life but when answering the ultimate goal in life it must be base on morality, security and true hope. In other word before answering the what is good life we need to ask our self "what is the purpose of my life"?

    September 1, 2012

  • Lee Yi W.

    (continued)

    n themselves)

    Just my point of view! Thanks! (:

    August 31, 2012

  • Lee Yi W.

    Was looking forward to tomorrow's (my first) meeting, however, I won't be able to make it. So I will like to post it here if you guys don't mind!

    I may not have read much philosophical writings, but here is my 'philosophical' (or not) point of view: A good life is definitely subjective to what you define as important in life/what makes you happy. If you believe that riches can bring you happiness, then being as rich as possible would be a good life to you. And if you believe that family and friends is more important than all other things, then to live a life filled with the company of friends and family would be the good life for you. Maybe it should be about defining what you think is the good life, and if You are SUCCESSFUL in pursuing that good life you wanted, then it is a good life. But this may pose some ethical and moral problems eg if some believe that nature is suffering, and the problem is us humans, and to solve this problems, their purpose of a good life is to annihilate all humans (maybe eve

    August 31, 2012

  • Tasos

    I thought man is part of nature?

    August 31, 2012

  • Tamil S.

    Wish to share a message "Man cannot live without nature but nature can live without man." Thanks.

    August 31, 2012

  • ye bao q.

    here's a brilliant answer from Conan the Barbarian:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo9buo9Mtos

    August 28, 2012

  • louis

    interesting, thibault! may i ask who is the philosopher? thanks.

    August 26, 2012

    • Aloysius

      German? - Nietzsche, perhaps

      1 · August 28, 2012

    • louis

      i went to google "german philosophers" .. and the top name that came out, went to wiki, and i was staring at a big moustache

      August 28, 2012

  • Hope of Savior '.

    Well what you have mentioned are traits/qualities of human nature. Those may or may not be part of a good life... We are going to discuss what is a good life and not just what is good...

    August 28, 2012

    • Thibault C.

      It is, in fact, a part of the answer : is "good" transcendental or immanent? But Hope of Savior 'la' is right the topic is the "good life" not the "good".

      August 28, 2012

  • Thibault C.

    I'm very glad to have this future discussion with all of you, even more in Raffles Creamery! This topic is a topic for which everybody can express what he really feels.

    As would say a famous philosopher with a big moustache: “There is more truth in any little question tag than in any of your favourite theories” so:
    -What has been the evolution of this notion among the centuries?
    -“The good life” or “Good lives”?
    -Is "good life" synonymous of "beautiful life"?
    -Is a "successful life" is synonymous of a "good life"?

    August 23, 2012

  • louis

    for purpose of this question, i wonder perhaps we can explore instead to seek agreement that Good can be (or, is) subjective.

    also, that it is fine that everyone pursues a life to their definition of Good (subject to of course the law- which sets the min level of ethics).

    August 20, 2012

  • Hope of Savior '.

    Let's start the discussion with the basic question:

    What is GOOD, and how do we define it?

    If we can define Good in a generic way that applies to everyone then defining Good Life will be fairly simple.

    August 20, 2012

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