The best things in life

17 Nov

It is not a manual or a self-help message, there are thousands nowadays, peterkreeftenPeter Kreeft’s book plunges his gaze into the dogmas of modern life: power, pleasure, truth and good life.

I believe that there are many people reading it without citing it, not because it is brilliant but rather inspired, see this phrase at the end of its preface, supposing that Socrates, the philosopher, appears miraculously in a university questioning convinced that: “An unexamined life is not worth living,” it seems I’ve read something like that.

In the preamble, made by a supposed Ancien of Athens, to my knowledge there is no such figure, he recalls that the oracle of classical antiquity taught us to question “our ancient gods, the foundation of our State … but it detonates two gods of our Society: Power and Pleasure, putting in their place a vague and invisible deity, which Socrates does not even name …. “(Kreeft, 2016, p.11).

He reminds us that “we named several gods, but Socrates did not.” And he recalls that the altar built by Socrates, to the unknown god therefore there is no statue, is the God of the apostle Paul, also in Acts 17, “also a destroyer of secular utopias – Both yours and ours. “(Kreeft, 2016, p.12).

In chapter I, topic 2, “From liberal education and careers” (pages 25-40), he points out how there are thousands of things to distract us, the author puts himself in the imaginary figure of Peter Pragma (of pragmatics?), Which Is it good in itself? And receives the answer from the answer:
SOCRATES: What about happiness? Is happiness chosen as a means to something different – wealth, or pleasure, or reputation? Are not all these things chosen as a means to happiness? (Kreeft, 2016, 27) and goes on questioning everything as such “means” until he reaches the money, then receives from the revived Socrates:

SOCRATES: So you’re interested in those courses, science and business, as a means of getting a good job, and employment as a means of making money, and money as a means of buying “a slice of cake,” right?

PETER: On the fly. (Kreeft, 2016, p.29).

SOCRATES: Now you hit the fly too. Yes, those things you expect to see with your money would be some of them would have an end in itself? A car, for example? Or a house? (Ibid., P. 30).

 Everything is being questioned by Socrates, following the logic “an unexamined journey is not worth living” (page 39), but the next step is to be questioned in a “logic.”

KREEFT, Peter. The best things in life. Illionois; IVPBooks, 1984, (edition Portuguese: Campinas: Ecclesiae, 2016).


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