- All Free Papers and Essays for All Students

The Purpose of Human Life Ancient and Medieval Times

Autor:   •  June 10, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  887 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,433 Views

Page 1 of 4

The Purpose of Human Life

My theme is the Purpose of human life in Ancient Greece and Rome. Greek philosophers summed it up best when they asked: “What is the world made of?” and “What is the ultimate substance of all reality?” (Various authors, 2006) Great philosophers brought meaning to life for Greek and Roman people by stating: “Happiness comes from acquiring knowledge and ultimately wisdom.” (Various authors, 2006) The purpose of life for humans in Ancient Greece and Rome was knowledge.

The Ancient Greek started a trend in life during their time by placing great emphasis on education, the Gods, philosophy, literature, music, dance and more. As the Greek traveled and traded with other countries they came to learn about different cultures and they brought what they learned back home to Greece and expanded upon it. What they learned spilled over to the Roman culture and the Romans built upon that. Neither culture was very religious but the Gods paved the way to what was acceptable and not acceptable in life. Stories of the Gods provided both cultures with what was acceptable when it came to moral behavior but it did not provide Greeks and Romans with the purpose of life. Philosophers sought to provide the purpose of life to both cultures. (Guisepi, 1998)

The Greek and Romans needed to find order and meaning in human life and nature and their quest for those two things resulted in art, science and philosophy. Hesiod began philosophy with self-control as the key to happiness. Hesiod felt moderation and living right was the purpose of human life. Later other philosophers followed and sought to create an ethical system based on right and wrong and to give a purpose to life here on earth. (Guisepi, 1998)

Socrates wanted people to base actions on what was right and reflect on goals and consequences. Aristotle believed in placing importance on “moderation in human behavior against stability of political life.” (Guisepi, 1998) He also encouraged people to question things and that human duty is to improve the soul. Through these philosophers and others that came later the Greek and Roman learned the purpose of life was knowledge and it was also to educate oneself to find the meaning of life and what existed in the world.

Many philosophers believed life’s purpose was to cultivate and nurture the world spiritually and physically because they would not be able to move on unless they did. Many felt life was to be spent doing good deeds and living in piety, strengthening justice, and to honor your family and country. If a person did this then they would reach the sky and joy


Download as:   txt (5 Kb)   pdf (85.1 Kb)   docx (11.7 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »