Philosophy of the Person
13 September 2013
Can we define Dalai Lama as a modern philosopher?
Externally, Dalai Lama fits the role of a modern philosopher: he teaches people how to be
the best human being they can be, amidst a technological and materialistic society. Internally,
however, his theories do not completely pertain to the actualities of our world.
The question he poses pertains to the purpose of life. He claims that all life is rooted in
happiness, and likewise, all happiness is rooted in love and compassion. In defining love and
compassion, however, I believe Dalai Lama overestimates our world’s current state of humanity.
I agree with his reasoning that love is the original component in life—in conception, at birth, as
we age and grow, as we are educated, in sickness, in health, and in the general society. However,
though every human being requires the compassion and support of another human being, I
disagree with his assumption that every person willingly gives it away. He says, “conception took
place not just in the context of sexual desire but from our parents’decision to have a child”
(Gyatso 2). In our modern society, there is not always a mutual decision to care for an