Descartes proposed the importance of reason as a source of knowledge. He aid that an individual can only attain a good life if he has a deeper understanding of himself and gains a sound knowledge of the objects around him. This implies that it is possible for a person to be conscious about life if he can have an understanding of himself as a human being and applies this knowledge in real lie situation. For instance, it can enable to be aware of morality-being able to distinguish a good from a bag action. It is true because the choices people make determine the morality of their acts. If one does a good thing, it can be considered as a moral act thereby receiving acceptance from other people. This can bring fulfillment and happiness to a person (Descartes, R. & Ronald, A., 1998).
Besides, Descartes argues for the importance of reason as a source of knowledge. Although he does not refute the belief in God, he insists that people should shun away from a mere blind belief. He says that such perceptions may at times be unjustified because the existence of God may not be tested by using any scientific means. He says that it is not true that God exists since it is a creation of man. In fact, he says, God did not create man; it is ma w created Him because he is their minds. Such perceptions can deny people an opportunity to attain knowledge which can be used to realize a good and happier life. He suggests that people should question and doubt everything just the same way he did. As a distinguished philosopher, he even doubted his own existence.
According to Plato, a good life refers to a state in which an individual experiences the maximum possible amount of happiness. This implies that happiness is a prerequisite condition for a happy life. As he argues, happiness is not difficult to attain because it is a matter of choice. Everyone has a chance of being happy provided that they can make the right decision. It depends on the attitude of a person toward life in its totality. Plato goes ahead to explain that happiness can be achieved when a person opts to be satisfied with whatever he has. Such a satisfaction means having everything that one needs and accepting not to have any other demand or need rather than what one possesses. In this case, one will be happier if one has good things.
Since Plato had a high regard for morality, he suggest that a good life can be attained if one has virtues. As a moral philosopher, he believed virtue is the only way through which people can obtain practical knowledge. Being virtuous is a concept which everyone can have. It is the best way through which ne can get knowledge which is necessary for making the right decisions to enable them do the right thing which can bring happiness not only to him, but also to others. If one is guided by the moral principles of virtues, one can end up doing good things which can eventually bring happiness to him. As he explains, the happiness got is very important since it can enable him to lead a happier life.
In addition, Plato suggests that a good life can be attained by a person when has a perfect love. As already highlighted, Plato emphasized the role of satisfaction. If one is satisfied with whatever they have, it becomes easier for them to be happier. This is because they will not feel inefficient whatsoever. They will not have any worry because it can deny them the happiness they need to make them lead a good life. As he explains, everyone has high chances of leading a happier life provided that they can tame their earthly desires. This is why he stresses on the role of practical knowledge since it can be of a great benefit to anyone. It can be an experiential aspect of life which can serve to sensitize one on the best decision to make to be happier.
In his argument. Plato discusses about the role of elf awareness in the attainment of a happy life. He says that human being, though subject to the supernatural God, s obliged to be conscious about themselves as individual creatures. Self awareness is a trait which takes precedence in a person as far as happiness is concerned. It should be followed by the understanding of the immediate environment before extending to the entire universe. After all, the world is a very complex place which everyone should strive to have a sound knowledge about. It is true that people should be inquisitive to enable them have a full understanding of the objects to enable them understand whatever lies behind them.
This paper would like to agree with Plato for suggesting that a good life can only be attained by leading a happy life. Although happiness is a universal concept, people must appreciate the role of virtue in their lives. It can put them in a better position of getting practical knowledge and wisdom which can guide them on how to make right decisions to e happier. Only if they are guided to be virtuous, people can not learn the role of satisfaction in their lives. As he examines, it can be extremely challenging to lead a deficient life in which one feels deprived of some important things he should have achieved. However, if one is having a sound knowledge of himself and the other objects around him, it can be very easy for him to learn to be happier with his status. As a result, he will lead a happier life. The other important thing discussed by this scholar is the role of morality in the performance of duties. It is true that virtue is necessary for the attainment of knowledge and wisdom which perform a very important role in making a person to be happier. Before performing an action, it is essential for a person to ensure that he understands the motives behind his action. If he has a good motive, he will do a good action which will end up making him happier in life. Otherwise, evil acts will haunt the person who does it since it will not bring any happiness to him (Plato, B.J. & J.D. Kaplan., 1980).
As the two philosophers argue, God is the ultimate source of knowledge. This was attested many years later by moralists such as Immanuel Kant who strongly suggested that ‘God is the principal source of morality.’ However, the concept of God should be deeply understood. Even if Descartes refutes blind belief, the concept of God should not be ignored because humans should be subject to some supernatural force. This paper rallies behind Plato for suggesting that people should believe in the existence of a more powerful force which is taken to be infinitely omnipotent, omniscience and omnipresent. His powers exceed those of human beings. Therefore, He should be revered as the sole creator who can grant people knowledge and wisdom. This explains why Descartes, despite his belief in intuition and reason as sources of knowledge still regard God as the major source.
Conclusively, these philosophers provided an overwhelming explanation about the nature of a good life. As they both agree, knowledge is the foundation of a good life. Therefore, everyone should seek knowledge because it can enable them to have self awareness and stand a better chance of making the right decision since they can use it to distinguish moral and immoral act. This is the best way of getting goodness which precedes happiness. Despite the fact that Plato is accused for being impractical for arguing in favor of contentment, the fact is that self satisfaction is of imminent contribution towards the realization of a good life.
Descartes, R. & Ronald, A. Discourse on methods and meditations on first philosophy.
Indianapolis: Hackett Publishers, 1998. Print.
Plato, B.J. & J.D. Kaplan. Dialogues of Plato. New York: Washington Square Press, 1980. Print.