The Good Life Essay

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Pages: 3

The Good Life

2 and 3a) “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”
-In order to achieve a life that is “good” your actions must be motivated by affection and acted out with little ignorance

3b) Russell says both knowledge and love and necessary, but love is more fundamental, therefore, love would come first. This does not make knowledge any less important though. (He thinks of knowledge more as facts and science rather than “Ethical” knowledge). Having the knowledge of the truth is the main part of the knowledge section of this essay. The role of love that Russell explains is the basis of the “good life.” Love “leads intelligent people to seek knowledge in order to find out how to benefit those they love.” This is why love and knowledge go hand in hand. As Russell explained, there are two poles that love moves around in between. One side is “pure delight in contemplation” and the other is “pure benevolence.” The delight pole has to do with how we feel towards people when considering them as objects. The happiness we receive from them and what makes us enjoy them is what is focused on in this pole, as well as the emotional attachment we develop towards them. The other side of the pole is more directed at the emotional part of benevolence and less about the act. Like Russell said, “it would seem odd to call a mothers interest in a sick child benevolence, but it is difficult to find any other word for it.” This means the way a mother helps her child is not solely benevolence, but it is sure a part of it.

(i) “Pearls of God” –paragraph 7 (acient mariner)
(ii) Putting love into two poles, saying two things decide a good life.
(iii) “When I said that the good life consists of love guided by knowledge, the desire which prompted me was the desire to live life as far as possible and to see others living it.”
“I think that in all descriptions of the good life here on earth we must amuse a certain animal vitality and animal instinct.”
(iv) He refers to the ancient mariner when talking about delight.
(v) Parents, teachers, policemen, judges. (when talking about desire and how many people desire what