“The Republic” by Plato”The Republic” by PlatoThe Republic written by Plato examines many things. It mainly is aboutthe Good life. Plato seems to believe that the perfect life is led only underperfect conditions which is the perfect society. Within the perfect societythere would have to be justice.
In the Republic it seems that justice isdefined many different ways. In this paper I am going to discuss a few. FirstI am going to discuss the reason why Glaucon and Adeimantus see justice asbeing a bad thing and it is better to live a unjust life.
Plato’s elder brother Glaucon argues that the just man is only justbecause of the fear that he will get caught and punished or the fear of having abad reputations. He explains this decision in the story of the two magic rings.The rings of magic would make a man invisible whenever he turns it on his finger.He believed that each man would act in the same manor. They would both breakinto houses unseen, and help themselves to whatever they wanted. The just manwould no longer feel the need to be just.
He would have two lifestyles one,being just in front of the eyes of the society and two being the unjust maninvisible unable to get caught. Glaucon say this proves that people are justonly because they find it necessary.Adeimantus another philosopher and Socrates elder brother brought upthe fact that we should take a look at the kinds of things people actually saywhen they get praised justice and condemn injustice.
Adeimantus explains bysaying that fathers tell there sons to be just because of the good reputationsand social prestige that attaches to justice. So it is not justice itself thatis recommended, but rather, the respectability that it brings with it. Hebelieves that the son will realize to be just is only worth it if you can get agood reputation. Unless you are truly just the gods will punish you but as wehave learned from the poets the gods can be bribed so if you live the unjustlife you can bribe the gods to not punish you.If an unjust person fakes agood reputation then he can have a wonderful life. He says live a wonderfullife because the unjust man is said to live a better life because he could cheatand live well but a just man has to live with what he has or earn his wealthhonestly.Glaucon points of justice as I see them are fake and unclear.
He saysthat if a just person were to have a magic ring then he would act as a trueunjust person because there is no fear of punishment. If he was a truly a justperson then he would not be unjust even if there was no fear of punishment. Idefine a true just man on his spirit and intentions if he is only being justbecause of fear of punishment then he is not just nor if he is only being justif he desire a good reputation. A man to be truly just must desire and get hispleasure on living with what he as earned fairly and helping others around him.Glaucon keeps arguing that the unjust man lives a better life because he hasthe power and the wealth to boss the just man around and bribe the gods so hedoes not get punished by them.
Socrates goes on saying that the life and surroundings are what makes upa just person. A just person should be educated and trained of what is rightand wrong. The quality of the justice is to be found in the society. If asociety is unjust there can not be a just man coming out of the society becauseall he is taught is to be unjust. I agree that a just man must be educated andtrained to tell what is right and wrong. I disagree with Socrates point that ajust man is solely educated by the society around him. I believe that a justman is not educated solely by the society but rather educated by his parents andfamily and only barely influenced by the society.There fore a just man cancome out of a unjust city and live to learn the honest lifeAdeimantus point of the father telling the son to be just only becauseit will give you a good reputation can not be true you can not be just for thosereason they do not match up with the points Socrates points out when he say thequality of a just man is learned by the society .
Since a just man isinfluenced by his parents the parents must be just. If they are telling thereson to only be just because of the fact it will give you a good reputation thenthe parents are not just therefore the boy cannot be truly just. Socrates pointof the quality of the just is brought up in this story Adeimantus gives. Thepoets told us that we can bribe the gods so it does not matter if we are justor unjust as long as we have the wealth to bribe our way out of punishment.This is the bad education taught by the poets it represents all that the juststate is against. We should not have the option to bribe the gods with ourwealth to not be just that makes a false city.The Republic is a book that showed views of justice and questions ofjustice. Justice is the better way to live your life.
Only if the you are atrue justice that is morally educated of the rights and wrongs and trained onhow to control the temptations to be unjust. The just life is the mostfulfilling life because it is spiritually happy with yourself. It is also thecloseness with God and the feeling that helping other is all you need forpleasure in your life. So to give my final conclusion you must learn from yourparents the ways to make your decision in your life and test what you havelearned out on the society.
Then you will know if the man you think you are isreally a true just man that thrives on the happiness of other people when youhelp them.