Monday, October 24, 2011

SAT Essay : Does knowledge improve one’s happiness?

“The farm consumes a farmer’s life.” This phrase has destroyed my initial romantic connotations associated with a life in the farm. Now, in the olden times everyone was a farmer, and there were no time for the to conduct other pursuits. Only the royalty and aristocrats can afford to do so. Then, the Industrial Revolution came. The advances in science and technology in turn helped developed machines that can replace human work. The scientific method assisted man in discoveries, such as hydraulic systems and the exact nutrients that plants need; they helped alleviate man’s burdens and maximised the yields for his efforts. People now had more time for themselves, to find inner peace and live mroe contentedly. This has shown that the advance of scientific knowledge makes one happier!

One will claim that “ignorance is bliss”, that people with knowledge of how the world works and its limitations are often unhappy persons. In reply to this, I cite an example of the legendary fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper”. While the ignorant Grasshopper leaps about, enjoying the warm seasons, the knowledgeable Ant gets down to work, building up its food supply for the coming Winter. In the end, the ignorant and ‘blissful’ Grasshopper died in the cold while the Ant stayed in his nest, knowing that he can make it through the winter due to his effort. Therefore, this shows that the ‘knowledge’ way to happiness ensures a more long-lasting ‘bliss’, rather than relying on pure ignorance.

However, only by obtaining the right knowledge only one will then gain the right happiness. Think about it – one who attained sinful knowledge, such as trickery and manipulation will never attain true happiness . This is because it goes against the basic human nature, as quoted by Confucius – that “All humans are originally good”.

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Thanks for reading. Do comment below for any critique and improvements to be made.

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