Eudaimonia – Then vs Now

Eudaimonia (SMAC)
Eudaimonia is a philosophical system that takes its name from an ancient Greek word for fulfillment and happiness. Based on economic equity made possible by Sentient Econometrics and rooted in opposition to the excesses of The Will to Power, Eudaimonia encourages each citizen to achieve happiness through striving to fulfill completely his or her potential; freedom, creativity, and individuality flourish in governments that adopt this philosophy.
Eudaimonia (SMAC),

Ah, ChatGPT (3.5, ), an interesting way of seeing where society is today. From a left-wing perspective that is, given its biases.

I was interested in seeing how ChatGPT thinks an eudaimonic society would look like today, compared with the ideal in ancient Greek.

In general, eudaimonia «is a life of virtuous activity—or more broadly, the fulfillment of our human capacities.» (via Riva et al., 2012). If you ask ChatGPT, it defines it as:

a concept from ancient Greek philosophy often translated as “human flourishing” or “well-being,” emphasizes the cultivation of virtues, meaningful pursuits, and fulfillment of one’s potential.

So, how does the concept look like in practice, then and now?

My Input
Please create a table with the core elements of an eudaimonic society with the second column how it would be prototypically envisioned in ancient greek society and the third how today in Western Europe. First column use the dimensions or attributes.

ChatGPT’s answer:

Dimension/Attribute Ancient Greek Society Western Europe Today
Education Emphasis on philosophy, arts, and physical education in pursuit of excellence and virtue. Formal education system with emphasis on a wide range of subjects including humanities, sciences, and arts, aimed at personal development and workforce readiness.
Civic Engagement Active participation in democratic processes, community service, and military service for the greater good of society. Participation in democratic processes, volunteering, activism, and engagement in community organizations to address societal issues and promote social justice.
Individual Flourishing Emphasis on individual growth through self-reflection, pursuit of knowledge, and cultivation of virtues such as wisdom, courage, and justice. Focus on personal development, self-actualization, and well-being through education, career advancement, leisure activities, and pursuit of personal goals.
Social Cohesion Strong sense of community, solidarity, and mutual support among citizens, fostered through shared values, traditions, and rituals. Social cohesion maintained through various channels including social welfare programs, healthcare systems, and policies promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Ethics and Morality Guided by moral philosophy, ethics, and religious beliefs, emphasizing virtues, ethical conduct, and the pursuit of the common good. Grounded in secular ethics, human rights principles, and legal frameworks promoting fairness, justice, and respect for individual autonomy and dignity.
Leisure and Recreation Participation in cultural festivals, athletic competitions, intellectual debates, and communal gatherings for leisure and entertainment. Engagement in diverse leisure activities such as sports, arts, travel, and digital entertainment, often facilitated by modern technology and media platforms.
Economic Structure Emphasis on trade, agriculture, craftsmanship, and small-scale entrepreneurship within a city-state framework. Market-based economy with a mix of public and private sectors, regulated by government policies, aimed at promoting economic growth, innovation, and prosperity for all citizens.

Well, these are hard «facts», but still interesting. Esp. how «social cohesion» is supposed to work today. But let’s make it personal — how about a persona of each age?

My Input
Please create an archetypical character of both versions, a persona, with looks, attitudes, hobbies, jobs, etc.


Ancient Greek Archetypical Character:
Name: Alexios
Appearance: Alexios is a tall and athletic man with a strong physique, olive skin, and dark curly hair. He has a prominent nose and sharp, expressive features. He often wears a simple tunic and sandals, with a leather belt adorned with a decorative buckle.
Attitude: Alexios embodies the ideals of ancient Greek society, valuing honor, courage, and wisdom above all else. He is deeply philosophical, often engaging in Socratic dialogues with fellow citizens to explore the nature of truth and virtue. He is proud of his city-state and fiercely defends its interests, whether in political debates or on the battlefield.
Hobbies: In his free time, Alexios enjoys participating in athletic competitions, particularly wrestling and discus throwing. He also frequents the agora, where he engages in lively discussions with other citizens on topics ranging from politics to poetry. He is an avid reader of Homer’s epics and attends dramatic performances at the theater, appreciating the artistry of tragedy and comedy.
Job: Alexios is a respected citizen-soldier who serves in the hoplite phalanx of his city-state’s army. During peacetime, he works as a farmer, tending to his family’s olive groves and vineyards. He takes pride in his craftsmanship, producing quality goods such as pottery and olive oil, which he trades at the local market.

Modern Western European Archetypical Character:
Name: Sophia
Appearance: Sophia is a stylish and cosmopolitan woman in her late twenties, with a slender figure, fair complexion, and striking blue eyes. She has long, flowing hair and a warm, welcoming smile. Her wardrobe consists of fashionable clothing from European designers, accessorized with elegant jewelry and designer handbags.
Attitude: Sophia is open-minded, progressive, and socially conscious, with a passion for activism and advocacy. She believes in equality, diversity, and environmental sustainability, and actively supports causes related to human rights, gender equality, and climate change. She values education and personal growth, constantly seeking new experiences and perspectives to broaden her horizons.
Hobbies: Sophia enjoys a diverse range of hobbies and interests, including yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices to maintain her physical and mental well-being. She is a patron of the arts, regularly attending gallery openings, concerts, and theater performances. She also loves to travel, exploring different cultures and cuisines around the world, and documenting her adventures on social media.
Job: Sophia works as a marketing manager for a multinational corporation, where she oversees campaigns promoting socially responsible products and initiatives. She is passionate about using her professional skills to make a positive impact on society, advocating for corporate social responsibility and ethical business practices. In her spare time, she volunteers at a local homeless shelter and mentors young women aspiring to enter the business world.

Well, apparently, if you are «living up to one’s fullest potential in all aspects of life, including physical, moral, and intellectual dimensions» you essentially turn into a left-wing progressive. Who knew. 😉 And how depressingly stereotypical — yoga, meditation, mindfulness, travel, marketing manager, equality, diversity, and environmental sustainability, human rights, gender equality, and climate change. Yawn. What is her unique potential?

I also wonder whether we haven’t lost something when society changed. I mean, the male version of Sophia would essentially be an overweight guy with a man-bun.

And yeah, the contrast is enlightening … a bit simplified, a masculine world vs a feminine world.

Utopia, if it would exist, would probably lie somewhere in between. As it does not, how would eudaimonia look for you?