What is the economic background of a "Good Life"?


All people in the world want to live good lives. However, it is difficult to identify things that would lead to a good life envisioned by nearly all human beings since the definition of the "good life" may be different and close to the meaning of happiness. Thus, what does it mean to be happy and have a good life? The answer lies in the unity of three conceptions, which mean the versatile development of personality. Those are the wealth, health and citizenship. Only a person who is healthy, wealthy and participates in social relation through citizenship can be considered happy and living a good life.

Kwame Anthony Appiah's article "Kindness to Strangers" and Peter Singer's essay "The Solution to World Poverty" provide different viewpoints on things that individuals ought to do in order to have a fulfilling life. However, the views held by Appiah, to my mind, are more realistic when compared to those of his fellow philosopher. The two writers seem to agree on the need for individuals to reach out to other people who require their support. Singer talks about donating all the money set aside for luxury to save a child's life through renowned NGOs such as UNICEF and Oxfam. Appiah shares the same idea, but discourages people from donating everything they own and go bankrupt. He argues that problems of foreign strangers should not be the main focus of the American cosmopolitans. On the contrary, Appiah argues about the existence of people requiring help in the neighborhood. This means that individuals can only live a good life if they help strangers within their means.

Appiah does not openly refute the emergency principle given by Singer. To some extent, he is in agreement with Singer according the need to prevent something bad from happening . However, Appiah acknowledges the confusion generated by Singer's principle when he mentions options presented regarding the rescue of the drowning child. According to Appiah, there exists a possibility in Singer's principle of not saving one child in order to generate more funds for saving many children. Appiah points out that people should be guided by their moral intuitions instead of relying on principles whose functioning is difficult to explain.

As illustrated by Appiah, there is a need for persons to access their basic human right. This includes freedom to exercise other life options such as pleasure. It means that people will feel coerced into contributing towards saving the life of a dying child if they follow the viewpoint presented by Singer. The Singer principle has severe consequences on the quality of life. If Bill Gates adhered the Singer principle, he would not send millions of dollars as donations. Therefore, a good life and concern for the strangers do not follow the Singer principle.

Appiah believes that it is difficult to figure out moral principles like the one suggested by Singer. He believes that the difficulty of making decisions in life makes it hard to single out one principle that will determine actions taken by individuals. In addition, Appiah notes that the uncertainty of the future makes it difficult to determine the effects of what people do. Singer argues that every individual in an affluent society has an obligation to contribute towards improving the life of the poor. He supposes that the failure to contribute will lead to increased death of poor children in the overseas. However, such conditions do not hold true for persons who want to have a good life.

There is an argument that a global state will do more harm than good in ensuring people live a good life. It will be difficult to provide the needs of every individual due to the accumulated power, reduced responsiveness and reduced institutional experimentation. This statement is contrary to that held by Singer. The opinion presented by Singer seems to reflect a world in which the rich are directed on what to do with their wealth. He justifies compulsory contribution towards strangers experiencing problems in the society. This can only happen if the world is governed by one powerful government. Appiah has a lot of doubts about this view.

There can never be happiness in the world if the most time is spent alleviating problems of the third world. According to Appiah, it was wrong for Singer to insinuate that all values have a single measure. The essence of a good life is lost when persons sacrifice all they have to save lives of those individuals they have never met. One does not commit a crime if he/ she enjoys life. This view, held by Appiah, contradicts that of Singer as it reveals the absence of a special relationship between the deaths and pleasure.

Appiah offers a solution on how real improvements should be made to persons living in deplorable conditions. He presents an argument over contributions to UNICEF and Oxfam, which have failed to guarantee decent lives. The focus should be on the improvement of government policies of the affected countries. In addition, the developed nations need to create an enabling environment for the development through reduced tariffs and other incentives. Cosmopolitans should be engaged in undertakings that will solve the problem once and for all.

Thus, to live a good life does not imply denying pleasure through carrying the whole burden alone. I support Appiah's idea that individual's concerns can only resonate around what they can contribute as "comfortably". He acknowledges that obligations need to remain consistent with an individual's being. People need to place considerations to persons closest to them only as it is difficult to meet all the obligations of the poor located far away. In addition, Appiah is of the view that poorest people are not doing enough to improve their condition. Therefore, it makes no sense to derail your own life for the sake of saving another life in the world. However, at the same time, the conception of a good life could be different and depends on what a person wants or what is his/ her life consequences.

Undoubtedly, the people who suffer from different diseases will say that to have a good life means to be healthy. The most effective and shortest way to be healthy is to eat healthy food. One cannot dent that is a vegetarian food. People come to vegetarianism due to a number of reasons. They want to extend the life, to make it healthier, reduce the pollution level, belief in nonviolence, economic and world hunger concerns, or just compassion for animals.

Different scientific researches demonstrate that environmental and health benefits of a vegetarian diet since most of all general diseases, including cancer, are related to food. A plant-based diet reduces the risk for chronic degenerative diseases such as coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, esophageal cancer and high blood pressure. Vegetarian diets are much more useful than the average American diet, particularly in reversing, preventing or treating of reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. A low-fat plant-based diet is the best solution to prevent coronary artery disease that becomes the reason of death for millions of Americans each year. It is healthful due to the low amount of cholesterol and animal fat. The standard American diet is full of processed foods and saturated fats. In fact, it is a bomb with slow time machine. The vegetarian diet gives the possibility to lose weight without feeling hungry of measuring portions. Natural food is a main source of calcium needed to keep the bones strong. It is also supplying the organism with phosphorus, vitamin D and magnesium that are necessary for the absorption of calcium. In addition, meat contains no fiber. Plant-based diets are significantly healthier in numerous respects than meat-based ones. Eating vegetables means to consume fiber, which pushes waste out of the organism. Persons who eat lower on the food chain tend to have fewer instances of hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and constipation. A person should feel comfortable and have a high life quality which is definitely means to have a good life. The dinner plate full of colorful fruits and vegetables will help to make life filled with colors. Cooking by color is a good way to ensure it contains a variety of naturally occurring substances that prevent a range of illnesses and strengthens immunity.

Some people become vegetarians after they realize the pollution that the meat industry is having on the environment. Runoff from agricultural activities of food factories and farmlands is one of the greatest threats to nature. The pollution includes plowing, pesticide spraying, confined animal facilities, harvesting, irrigation and fertilizing. The life in the polluted environment never will be good.

Every year ten billion of animals are slaughtered for human consumption. Thus, many people give up meat because of their concern for animals. Veganism is more of a philosophy than just a diet. A vegan has an ethical standard to treat all animals with respect and love. Farmed animals are not protected by law from cruelty, and the community is highly concerned about it. Some people may argue that animals are not humans, and their feelings should not be taken into account. They cannot live in the world ethnically, cognitively, and critically in those superior human ways. However, what is the different is killing animal brings suffering to many people of the world? They cannot fell themselves comfortable knowing that animals dying to became food. Vegetarian way may be the solution of this issue.

Thus, to be healthy means to be vegetarian. Plant-based food is can make people healthier without a feeling of hunger and suffering of animals, and the same time it does not pollute the environment. Good, long and happy life is not possible with a large amount of cholesterol in veins and in the condition of polluted environment.

Wealth and health can surely make a person feel that he/she lives a good life. However, human is a social being, so one key component is missing. That component is citizenship. It causes other important part of good and fulfilled life – self actualization within the culture. The need for self actualization relates to our need for self-perfection, to be what we have the potential to be. It is very important how a person participating itself in a multicultural world.

Cultural cosmopolitanism to my mind is universal vision. It is the vision of world nationality that considers that the interests of a mankind are higher than interests of one separate nation or state. A person is considered being free citizen of the Earth.

Nowadays in western societies there are a necessary for urban cultural change from formal multicultural society to more effective cosmopolitan mind-set, particularly in communities with greater access to both multicultural and interact manner to get an opportunity to be truly cosmopolitan.

Cosmopolitanism is a sign of a strong society. It involves acquiring bridging the gap between groups following their own specific culture and a global mindset. In addition, it reflects the presence of a dominant culture that can tolerate with newcomers form other cultures. In other words, it occurs when people of different groups and ethnicity make efforts to create successful relations regardless of ethnic backgrounds. It does not mean that cosmopolitanism completely eradicates homogeneity; it is appreciating and co-existing of cultural differences that consequently promotes heterogeneity. However, cosmopolitanism as a component of democracy is not achieved in many societies due to the fact they are no longer monolithic, and the imaginary social space has divided into a multitude of identities. wo criticisms are commonly made against cosmopolitanism: one, that it is an elitist social representation; the other, that it is an impossible project.

Sokolovic developing the polemic asks a question "Are multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious societies a threat and obstacle to democracy?". He confidently claims that in order to save democracy, thus, one should renounce of multiculturalism. Thus, the advances of globalization have caused a cosmopolitan vision that largely rose throughout the modern world due to its universality and tolerance. However, cosmopolitan society is a vision that has still not been achieved in most communities.

To summarize all above the conception of "the good life" remains to be controversial. At first sight the issue should not be highly discursive, however, it is. The matter is that different people are choosing various ways to what they think should lead to the good life. The unity of three issues of wealth, health and citizenship would ensure the closest result to ideal. In order to be healthy it is necessary to follow a voice of moderate and sensible egoism since not unselfish person will never achieve wealth. All money of the world is not valuable without the presence of health. Thus, a person should look for the way to be healthy and to prolong the life term. To my mind, the best solution is vegetative diet. By ignoring meat the people got not only healthy food, but also rescue animals from killing and prevent environmental pollution. Since human is a social being it is highly important to participate in social life and citizenship. Modern globalized world is overloaded by a mix of different cultures, thus cosmopolitanism is the only possible way to prevent violence and anarchy which will take place in case if this vision should not be finally established in all communities. Thus, to my mind, moderate egoism, vegetarian diet and cosmopolite worldview will ensure a person to live a good, happy and long life.

Tom Bailey is an expert writer at qualityessay. The main area he works with is an academic field.

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