The “Real” Human

The are three major parts of this essay:
1) We exist as two selves – the inner and the outer selves;
2) The actions of the outer self “justify” the inner self;
3) As we age, we surrender the inner self to the outer self.
Now, in the common MLA format, a page or two.. or more, please consider the question: “WHAT JUSTIFIES MY EXISTENCE?” I find it rather tiresome that most people feel no need to justify their own existence – they take it as a “given.” And religion does not work: to say “God wants me here, and so I have reason to be,” begs the question of the existence and nature of God — do not use this approach. And people even feel entitled. But, such is not the case.

Ethics is the study of how we should behave — the good and bad/right and wrong. This assignments is an effort to tie up all the elements we have looked at over the past few weeks… kind of an effort in purity.

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Do some research, give me some proof:
1) TWO QUOTES FROM BORGES
2) At least two examples from other sources

ANSWER

 

The “Real” Human

All human beings exist as they live, and while living, people will pursue many goals and accomplishments in their lifetime. During this lifetime, life becomes not one of the goals but something we care about, as with the goals and plans such as to achieve educational, career, professional, or health excellence, we show the care we have for our lives. These goals do not produce the care people have for their existence, but they proceed from that care (Nicholson). Therefore, we exist, care about our life, and move to make plans and goals in life. This shows that what we care about should not only be the plans and goals we pursue and wish to accomplish but also our existence, and should form a basis for understanding and justifying our existence. This essay uses Plato’s three parts of the human soul to understand how the outer self’s actions justify the inner self, argues that what justifies my and our existence is the need to magnify oneself (Self) and magnify the communities or groups one identifies and belongs.

The justification of something involves actions or things that show, prove, support, and explain the doing of something, whether it is right or even reasonable. Among philosophers, the issue of human existence has been a perennial debate, with each support their arguments on its meaning. We exist as two selves: the inner and outer self, and according to Plato, this can further be categorized as the tripartite soul with the logical, spirited, and appetitive parts (Barney, Brennan and Brittain). The logical part is likened to rationality, thought, and logic, and when dominant, an individual will understand and distinguish reality from fantasy, which is another definition of existence: having objective reality. The spirited part holds a person’s intense emotions and feelings, where one can distinguish what is right and wrong and when partnered with the logic part, a person will embrace virtues of righteousness and justice, to mention a few. Finally, the appetitive part is non-resistant to worldly desires and appetites such as power, money, opulence, sex, and food (Barney, Brennan and Brittain).  A good example that uses Plato’s thought to show the justification of inner-self by the outer self involves ancient Greek sports. According to Reid (2012), “Athletic beauty symbolizes the triumph of our divine, spiritual nature over our animalistic, physical nature” (Reid). Reid argues that the praise and athletic excellence Greek athletes had portrayed by excellent physique with toned muscles and well-built bodies (outer-self) were expressions of the harmonious, serene, and collected soul (inner self) of the athlete. The athlete could tame his appetitive/animalistic nature, such as consuming unhealthy foods (outer-self) and the triumph of the logic and spirited soul parts, which helped him acquire the artistic image, athlete body, and athlete success and excellence (inner-self).  This is what Reid calls athletic beauty, and this example shows how the outer self justifies the inner self or desired state of the soul in an individual.

After establishing how the outer-self justifies the inner self, we need to establish what justifies my/our existence: magnifying oneself and magnifying the community one belongs (Nicholson). We all dream of living happy, comfortable, secure, and wealthy lives. Something that has been emphasized since we started school is always disseminated in all media forms, and we constantly remind ourselves through hard work, career building, and constant planning, making goals for our lives. Magnifying oneself and acquiring the wealth, health, stability, financial security, and happiness we wish in life is what justifies our existence. One can ask themselves, why am I in school, why do I always work, what is the essence of the money I get? All these questions result in one answer: “I want to live; happily, I wish to be a rich as Dwayne Johnson, or I want to pursue a career path and become like Barack Obama.” We care about our lives and ourselves. The only way to justify this care is by accomplishing life goals and objectives, which extends to justifying our existence.

Secondly, man will never live as an island; people, fauna, flora, buildings, and other non-living things surround us. When asking what justifies our existence, the human inquiry is mostly concerned with understanding our attachment to something, like how we belong to a particular community or identify with a specific group. Many people find the importance and pride in identifying with one group and separating from another (Nicholson). For instance, In Borges and I, the author states, “I like hourglasses, maps, eighteenth-century typography, the taste of coffee and the prose of Stevenson” (Borges). These aspects shape the author’s group that he would like to identify with, which establishes reasons that make him care about life or his existence; hence, he will make life goals. He can decide to study maps or 18th-century typography as his career or hobby. This is what gives him meaning, and it seems like Borges shares in these preferences. He further says, “I shall remain in Borges, not in myself” (Borges). This shows that he has decided on what community or group of people he wishes to belong. To some extent, it shapes and justifies his existence, as he lives towards achieving and maintaining his identification with Borges.

 

 

Works Cited

Barney, Rachel, Tad Brennan and Charles Brittain. Plato and the Divided Self. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. https://books.google.ca/books?id=8uS847aCan8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=plato+three+parts+of+the+soul+pdf&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwje75v_naLtAhULGFkFHfVXBScQ6AEwAHoECAAQAg#v=onepage&q&f=true.

Borges, Jorge Luis. “Borges and I.” Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings. New York: New Directions, 1964. 246-247.

Nicholson, Graeme. Justifying Our Existence: An Essay in Applied Phenomenology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009. https://doi.org/10.3138/9781442688421.

Reid, Heather. “ATHLETIC BEAUTY IN CLASSICAL GREECE: A PHILOSOPHICAL VIEW.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport (2012): Vol 39(2), pp; 281-297. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00948705.2012.725900.

 

 

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