Cicero-On The Good Life Essays Example
On the Good Life comprises of several essays written in the book, it contains five chapters. This article focuses on Discussions at Tusculum, On Duties, Laelius: On Friendship, On the Orator, and The Dream of Scipio. The article analyzes how moral goodness, and the happiness result from the dream, discusses the influence on Cicero's thinking, his views on life style, and principles similar to Cicero articulated in his discussions at Tusculum. The Discussion at Tusculum is between Cicero and his friend, and its topic is what things made healthy and happy life. As in Greek philosophy to live a happy and healthy life, one needs right living morally. A person can live a happy life if he/she has good moral values and live his life following all the rules and regulations of the society and nature. By following these rules and regulations a person will not have enemies or problems to worry; however, if someone is not morally right and has some evil virtues in his/her mind, then he/she may suffer a lot of problems in life, and cannot be happythe way. People always remain concerned about their security, their enemies, and their immoral acts and do not think of peace. Therefore, to live a happy and healthy life a person should be morally right and this is the thought given by Cicero.
Cicero mentions of “the four divisions on the moral values under which he has ranged the nature and essence of virtue, which consists in the knowledge of truth principally affects the life of man" (p. 133).
Cicero argues that the moral goodness leads to happiness and that a person is free to choose whether to live in accordance with moral virtue or not. Now, from Stoics view, his argument is also that being morally right is essential to have a happy life. Supporting his view, he said a person can live happily without wealth, clothes, and food having his good virtues but cannot lead a life without moral virtues because “the distinguishing property of man is to search for and to follow truth” (p. 133).
These views show us the importance of the moral values. In order to live happy life we should have moral values, this would make our soul peaceful, and there should be nothing to worry because when a person speaks the truth, his soul does not get worried, but when a person tells a lie, his mind became impatient, and he keeps thinking about the sin he commits. All these immoral things we do have some negative impact on our lives. In order to avoid such scenario, the best thing to do, is to have moral virtues. It is the choice of a person whether to live happy or not. A person supports the moral either goodness or not. However, the philosophy of the world promotes the virtue of the moral values.
Gorgias has proved the opposite view by providing same arguments, in his work he said that nothing in the earth exists, If something exists by chance, then we have no knowledge about it, and if somehow we learn about something, then we are unable to communicate our knowledge with others. The conclusion from the Gorgias is that from the verbal reasoning, we can prove anything by clever theories. In his opinion, nothing can be proved the truth in this world, by the logical and linguistics arguments. However, the Cicero’s view is more related to the moral values. Theaetetus on the virtue of thought and perception said, “False judgment, in general, cannot, however, be defined as the misfitting of perception to the thought” (p. 66).
As far as Cicero’s view concern it does not seem to be influenced by their thoughts, he believed in the morality of the thoughts, it has been much famous and followed by the world, from the Greek times to present people believes that moral values are more important to us. Maybe the perception of good values varies, but most people support the virtue of moral values.
Ernest Hemingway in Death in the Afternoon said, So far, about morals, I only know that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad.
Discussing his work On Duties, Cicero furnishes us a way of living a meaningful life. He suggested some basic principles and responsibilities to lead a happy life. In this context, he contrasts the two ideologies that are Democracy and Dictatorship. Cicero was horrified with the fall of the Roman Republic and write about the duties to show the character of the political leaders to protect the stability of the nation. He suggests that the democratic system is preferable to lead a happy life rather than dictatorship. He argues that an autocrat cannot have the character of Democrat and cannot support the people to have a and happy life.
Therefore, the genius man does not merely establish the constitution of a new people, and then leave them crying in their cradle, but he continued to superintend their education until they had arrived at an adult, and well nigh a mature age.
This view of Cicero suggests that we should promote the democratic principles if we need to have better opportunities of happy life. Cicero said of the virtue of duties . Moreover, the subject of this inquiry is the common property of all philosophers; for who would presume to call himself a philosopher, if he did not inculcate any lessons of duty? But there are some schools that distort all notions of duty by the theories they propose touching the supreme good and the supreme evil.
In the discussion of Tusculum Cicero and the Stoics, support the ethical behavior to lead a happy life. They give us a virtue of the responsibilities of a person in this world. The view is more influenced by moral psychology. In this discussion, he also introduced the Stoics ethics of Roman times. These principles are similar to the values of the ancient times.
Marcus Aurelius and Stoic said of the moral values, Different things delight different people. However, it is my delight to keep the ruling faculty sound without turning away either from any man or from any of the things, which happen to men, but looking at and receiving all with welcome eyes and using everything according to its value. From all the discussion above, we have viewed different perceptions of the philosophers, but the main view is regarding the moral values. It also gives us the view of happy life from the political perspective, and Cicero supports the democratic system to lead a happy life.
Cicero believes of virtues of moral life, As to order, resolution, moderation, and like they come into that rank of virtues which require not only an operation of the mind, but a certain degree of personal activity; for it is in observing order and moderation in those things that constitute the objects of active life, which we shall preserve virtue and decency. Conclusively the things that make a and happy life are the moral values. The evil people are always poor and are unable to be happy. This concept is fully supported by Stoics that being morally is necessary for happiness.
Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Cicero: On Duties (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought). Cambridge University Press, 1991. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Fine, Gail, and Myles Burnyeat. The Theaetetus of Plato. Vol. 101. N.p., 1992. Web.
Mifsud, Mari Lee. “The Birth of Rhetoric: Gorgias, Plato, and Their Successors (review).” Philosophy and Rhetoric 1999: 175–180. Web.