Living for living’s sake

by caroanna

   “For what’s the sense of struggling to be virtuous,  denying yourself the pleasant things of life, and deliberately making yourself uncomfortable, of there’s nothing to hope to gain by it? And what can you hope to gain by it, if you receive no compensation after death for a thoroughly unpleasant, that is, a thoroughly miserable life?” (Thomas Morus, Utopia, Penguin Classics, p.72)

   First of all, why do you have to make your life miserable? Why not trying to make the best of it and make your life as pleasant and liveable as possible? If you can’t do that without harming other people, then you shouldn’t follow that advice. That should be known to every man.

   But why do you need someone to tell you how to behave in your life? Isn’t it enough to know that you’ll feel good? I think people are generally able to figure out what’s best for them and the people around them. We are clever enough to protect ourselves against evil without having to ask for help to a God who hasn’t been that helpful in the past few hundred years; provided that he exists.

   I don’t need someone telling me that I have to help people when I can and treat them as I would treat myself. I feel good knowing that a person like me (ok, not exactly like me, I don’t consider myself a genius or something like that) came up, as I believe, with this principle, wrapped it in a nice story to make it easier for common people to digest, and wrote it down in a collection of similar stories now widely called The Bible.

   I feel perfectly confident in making my life worth living for my own sake, and being nice to people because I’m not a hipocrite, and want to be treated equally by them. I like seeing people being happy and that’s sufficient for me to make them happy when I can. That’s my reward, and it’s a reward I receive immediately, not after death.


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