In the aforementioned quote, Socrates invokes the voice of the city to make his claim. Socrates claims that disobeying the law would be like disobeying a parent, that is to be impious to the people who are your caretakers. The idea is that the city has been Socrates benefactor his entire life, but now if he turns against the laws, it undermines the authority of the Law and implies that Law and Order are meaningless. How could they city uphold laws if they have no power?
Thrasymachus claims that justice is the advantage of the stronger. Socrates then asks if his understanding, that what is beneficial to the stronger is just and must be beneficial to the weaker people, to which Thrasymachus replies that no, this is not so. He explains that justice is that which obtains the advantage of the stronger. He uses the example of ruling a city, where a government would change the rules and laws to best suit them, and as the rules are followed by those who act justly, the just would be acting in the favour of the stronger.
It is challenging to lead a private life while truly fighting for justice. A man can fight for justice through examining the greatest issues in human nature that Socrates found essential to the private life. However, this knowledge can have the biggest effect when brought into the public life such as through teachings. These two things can then combine to reflect how the state should be changed. Socrates sometimes crossed this line himself, even if unknowingly. Through becoming a teacher of the young men who followed him in Athens, Socrates effectively began to enter the public life. He was able to influence others through sharing his conclusions of justice, self-examination, and piety, and by asking relentless questions. Socrates effectively showed that an individual can live a private and a public life, even if Socrates was not directly involved in the policy-making in Athens. An individual can combine these two aspects of life in a productive way allowing her/him to live a full existence. These individuals can become teachers, politicians, and activists who use their focus on justice and piety in their private lives to advocate and create laws that promote true justice for the rest of the
When it comes to justice, Polemarchus believes that justice is “…helping friends and harming enemies.”. Socrates questions this point of view because according to Polemarchus’ view point, only the people who are close to him and in his circle of friends would be worthy of any kind of Justice. Polemarchus is wrong in this viewpoint because if only the people that you know who are of your similar social status and you interact with on a day to day basis are considered friends, what of those that you do not know? Or what of those who are not of your social status, that you do not interact with? Socrates questions this by asking, “Do you mean by friends those who seem to be good to an individual, or those who are, even if they don't seem to be, and similar with enemies?”.
Socrates believes that justice benefits the just, but also benefits the city (other people) too. He is faced with a seemingly simple choice, escape Athens or remain in prison and be sentenced to death. Socrates’ central argument against escaping his circumstances is twofold. First, Socrates argues that “one must never do wrong.” (49b) In other words, one should never do an injustice. And likewise, “one should never do wrong in return, nor do any man harm, no matter what he may have done to you.”(49d) It is from this argument that Socrates outlines why he must not escape, for it would be to wrong the city that made him. No matter what the city may have done to him, he must never act against it in retaliation. Socrates bases this view of justice on the worth of living a good life. “And is life worth living for us with that part of us corrupted by unjust actions” (47e) If we corrupt our soul with injustice, our life would not be worth living, therefore one must never commit an injustice. “When one has come to an agreement that is just with someone, one should fulfill it.”(49e) It is this agreement with the Laws that Socrates would be violating, if he were to
In Ericsson’s essay she wrote about why lying threatens to become a “cultural cancer”. To explain why we lie, she tells us about different types of lies, and how they can still be harmful despite having good intentions. Ericsson is correct that lying threatens to become a “cultural cancer”. Lying threatens to become a “cultural cancer” because it can lead people going to a wrong direction. It can turn statements into excuses that can help people manipulate others. Also, it can make a person win over another person.
Plato's Republic is centered on one simple question: is it always better to be just than unjust? This is something that Socrates addresses both in terms of political communities and the individual person. Plato argues that being just is advantageous to the individual independent of any societal benefits that the individual may incur in virtue of being just. I feel as if Plato’s argument is problematic. There are not enough compelling reasons to make this argument. I believe that
According to Socrates perspective, the democracy of Athens was corrupt and even though they courts were made in such a way that everyone was judged fairly, it wasn’t such because there were no rules or principles set forth. When a person was brought to court in the Athenian court and the person spoke against the jurors or offended them, he or she could be prosecuted based on that. In summary, judgment was passed based on emotion rather than on justice.
One aspect of Machiavelli’s theory which significantly contributes to his reputation as the “philosopher of evil,” is his advice to the prince on keeping their word to the public. In chapter eighteen, Machiavelli states, “a wise ruler cannot, and should not, keep his word when doing so is to his disadvantage, and when the reasons that led him to promise to do so no longer apply” (pg. 37). To simplify, Machiavelli says princes are obligated to lie in certain circumstances. He also states that while it is unnecessary for the prince to have positive qualities, such as honesty, trustworthiness, sympathy, compassion, or be religious, it is essential for the prince to be viewed so by the public (pg. 37). While many people argue that Machiavelli’s legitimization of lying and deception in politics is immoral, I argue the opposite. The use of lying and deception in politics is moral, because they are essential tools utilized by politicians to maintain the overall wellbeing of the society.
Guilt is part of our conscience, and since humans do not have the technology or knowledge to communicate with it, there is no true understanding of what is right or wrong. Therefore humans go on with our lives without any true understanding of the feelings of guilt. Every day people end up doing actions that they know is wrong and they may not feel bad about it, for example when you lie to get away with something. There is a variety of reasons why one would do this for, one may think they are doing the right thing by saying or doing it, they might lie to someone, or one might even be abiding the law or rules even though they know it is wrong. The law and
In The Republic, Plato writes about his thoughts on good, justice, and how we can achieve it. He starts off by stating that for human happiness and to live the best life philosopher-kings are needed. Not everyone can become a philosopher; certain people simply are non-philosophers also called lovers of sights and sounds. Plato makes the distinction between lovers of wisdom(philosophers) and lovers of sights and sounds clear using beauty as an example. Non-philosophers see ''fine tones and colours and forms and all the artificial products that are made out of them''(476b) but are unable to see or to understand absolute beauty. While lovers of wisdom will search for knowledge in everything and seek to find true beauty.
A man is sentenced and put to death for stealing an apple from the grocery store. Where he resides, theft is a capital crime. Was this trial just? Most people would say no, it is immoral and unjust to execute someone for theft, especially for something as small as an apple. Although this is true, this man broke the law, committing a capital crime. The result of a capital crime is execution. Therefore, the laws were upheld and this was a just trial. If laws are not followed, what would be the point of laws? This question arises in Plato’s Apology. The Apology is Socrates’ speech to defend himself in his trial against the charges of corruption of the youth and believing in false gods. This is written by his student, Plato, who was present during this trial. Socrates is sentenced to death for these crimes because during that time, it was
In Book II of Plato’s Republic, Plato describes a just city to look at the concepts of political justice. He refers to this city as Kallipolis. A just city is that of which everyone develops a skill based off of their innate abilities. They then further develop that skill to
In Book IV of Plato’s The Republic, Socrates draws a comparison between the classes evident in their fictional city to the human soul. Socrates clearly defines the three forms he finds in the city as being the appetites of mankind, or in other words, all human desires, such as pleasure, comforts, and physical satisfaction. The second form discussed by Socrates is the spirit or the component of the soul which deals with anger and perceptions of injustice. The third and final form is the mind or reason, which analyzes and rationally weighs options and solutions to problems. Socrates compares these three forms of the soul to the three classes in the city: producers, auxiliaries, and guardians. Socrates concludes that in a perfectly just society, each class would have a fixed and equal place in the city in which they only carry out their specific purpose.
In Book IV of Plato’s Republic, Socrates and his peers come to the conclusion that a city is going to need people who have an understanding of what justice should be. Socrates at the end of Book IV can make the difference between individual, political, and social justice. He knows that individual and political justice is so much in common because they both weigh in heavy on truth, honor, and appetitive soul. That appetitive soul is an element that helps the secure the just community with love and support. This is where the society will have a closer connection to justice in general. This is where Socrates came to the conclusion that we all need to be under justice in our society. So, the first action that Socrates did was to make sure that he doesn’t disrespect his family, be disloyal to his friends, or commit a crime. And when the majority of a just society realizes that there are