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“An unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates?

By April 28, 2022May 22nd, 2023Ethics, GS 4

What does the following line mean to you –

“An unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates? (150 words, 10 Marks)

  • An unexamined human life, is deprived of the meaning and purpose of existence. The ability to introspect removes the individualistic absurdity by invoking a commitment to moral integrity and social solidarity.
  • Just like a seed needs soil, sunlight and water for its germination, human life needs introspection and examination for its growth.
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s examination of self through his autobiography ‘My experiments with truth’ also highlights the significance of reflection on life, through examination he was also able to question his prejudices and understand his strength as a human being.
  • The fast-changing societies and consumerist culture in the contemporary world leave less time for human beings to examine and think about the changes and thus adaptation to changes have become automatic and unquestionable.
  • Today when human beings are burdened with the histories of war, colonisation, nationalisation, erosion of morality in the scientific and technological advancements and the sense of spiritual up rootedness, this quotation gives a sense of wisdom to follow the direction of the virtuous path.