Who is a wise person? This question posited different views among philosophers. Even King Solomon in his book has one final conclusion as to who is a wise person. As quoted in his book of Ecclesiastes: “After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for. God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret.”
Another known philosopher, Socrates, has his own relative assertion. A wise person, according to him, is not a type of a mentally undisciplined individual, but that of a well-cultured person. A wise man, having known what is right, knows how to control himself. He is just and courageous. For the thinker, a wise person is happy. The measure of this happiness is not material possession, but in being moral. To Socrates, true pleasure, which is doing what is right, will offer a person lasting happiness, which will eventually make him a moral being. If one therefore wishes to be happy, he should be wise, for wisdom itself is its own reward.
In sum, Socrates is heading to an idea that ethics embodies a fundamental principle. This fundamental principle is man’s supreme goal which is happiness which man can attain by doing what is right. How this fundamental principle (happiness) demands two things, i.e., goodness and virtue. Hence, an ethical life is a happy life. An ethical person is happy because he knows what is right and good. What enables him to do what is right and good is virtue which for Socrates is synonymous with knowledge. Virtue is knowledge and vice-versa.
It is submitted wherefore that knowledge is the medium of an ethical life. Express differently, rational life implies ethical life, or he who is rational enough should also live an ethical life. Otherwise if one cannot be rational, one can never be ethical.