What Is a “Good Life”?

A talk by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

One of the great fallacies that people often discuss in connection with goodness, morality, is the fallacy that when you know what to do, you can do it: ‘The key to virtue is knowledge.’ It doesn’t take very much observation to remind us that that doesn’t work quite as straightforwardly as it sounds.

Right-click here to download – 36:19 (34.9MB)

So much of what goes wrong in our experience has something to do either with what we train ourselves to ignore or what we insist on seeing simply, exclusively, in terms or our own needs, our own agendas… One way into thinking about ‘the good life’ is asking, ‘What are the factors which encourage us to ignore aspects of our field of perception, what are the factors that push us towards determining and constructing things around us simply in relation to our own agenda?’ Because without some liberation from both of those, our lives continue to be shrunk, diminished and damaged, and therefore damaging to others.

Recorded in London, April 2018. Reproduced with thanks to Camden Psychotherapy Unit.