How do you reconcile yourself with the impossibility of living a consistently or completely good life? Help.

Philosopher's reply

Dear Charlotte,

To reconcile with such impossibility means to reconcile with the fact that one is not God! To be human, to reconcile with one’s own limitations, amounts to this: accept that imperfection and inconsistency are not just signs of failure, disappointment, betrayal in the absence of goodness; but also a source of wonder, excitement, joy whenever goodness is indeed present. Paying attention, focusing on what is up to us, learning to forgive ourselves and others, may be all it takes for a life and a person to be good and beautiful, albeit not divinely perfect.

All best wishes,
Yiota Vassilopoulou

Philosopher's profile

Panayiota Vassilopoulou

University of Liverpool, UK
Website

The quarrel between philosophy and poetry, truth and fiction, so irreconcilable yet so fertile in Murdoch’s work, is what has attracted me most. Longing to ‘live long-times, not in sudden moments’ yet not being like those ‘who live on earth and move just a little and don’t look’.

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