Socrates was born around 470 BC in Athens, Greece. We know of his life through the writings of his students, especially Plato and Xenophon.
Socrates claim that the unexamined life is not worthy living makes a satisfying climax for the deeply principled arguments he presents on behalf of the philosophical life. The claim is that only in striving to understand ourselves does our life have any meaning or value.
‘The unexamined is not worthy living’ is a famous maxim apparently uttered by Socrates at his trial for impiety and corrupting the youth for which he was subsequently sentenced to death.
He believed that philosophy should achieve practical results for the greater well-being of society. He attempted to establish an ethical system based on human reason rather than theological doctrine.
He pointed out that human choice was motivated by the desire for happiness and the ultimate wisdom comes from knowing yourself. The more a person knows, the greater his or her ability to reason and make choices that bring happiness.
Socrates believed that this translated into politics, with the best form of government being neither a tyranny nor democracy. Instead, government worked best when ruled by individuals who had the greatest ability, knowledge and virtue and possessed complete understanding of themselves.
From Socrates, we learn that if we also do not reflect on issues that touch our lives in this country then we are not worthy living as well. We need to reflect and denounce unjust social structures that oppress the people in this country.
It is time to reflect on the rampant corruption that has engulfed our country, the Warm Heart of Africa.
It is disheartening to note that corruption has become the order of the day in this country.
Corruption in this country has become a structural sin, from the gateman to the topmost boss. Even police officers negotiate bribes instead of stopping the malpractice.
When shall we reflect and rise to take corruption head on. Time has come to join hands and talk about issues that affect our lives. Let’s reflect and sober up to build a better Malawi that is conducive to everyone regardless of tribe, political affiliation, sex, region and age.
Let us also reflect on the sanctity and dignity of human life, which is under direct attack. The killings of people with albinism is uncalled for and unacceptable. Let’s reflect on the value of life. We are all created in the image of God.
Socrates was executed for allegedly corrupting the youth and impiety in the most infamous use of hemlock in history. At that time, the father of Greek philosophy was a controversial figure and not particularly liked in Athens City. He challenged anyone’s thinking through his endless and secular Socratic dialogues, and he publicly questioned the gods Athenians worshiped at that time.
According to the “works” of his students, Plato and Xenophon Socrates supposedly could have escaped Athens after he was found guilty by an Athenian jury. Instead he chose to stay on principle. He would abide by the law and apparently did not even try to convince the jury he was innocent.
Socrates performed his own execution by drinking poison.
Let us reflect our life so that we give it a greater meaning as we look forward to the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Time has come to remember the words of the great man Socrates un reflected or unexamined life is not worthy living”. We need courage as we strive to build a better life through the ballot.