The Just Life Essay, Research Paper
“The Unjust Life Is The Most Profitable Life”
Plato argues in his book the “Republic” that the just life is better that the unjust life. Although, Glaucon has legitimate arguments, Plato refutes them effectively by showing that the just life is better.
Glaucon elaborates on Thrasymachus’s argument stating that the unjust life is more profitable and happier than the just life. Glaucon gives three arguments that will backup his statement. One of the arguments state, “What is justice and where did it come from?” Justice comes from a person that makes a law that is just and lawful because they have suffered an injustice. So by making laws that are just they will minimize suffering of injustice.
The second statement that Glaucon makes is that, “All who practice justice do so unwillingly.” A person that is just will not do anything wrong because it would natural to them. It can said that an unjust person would have to plan to do an injustice, then the injustice would have to be done, and worry about get caught. The just person feels that the easiest way to stay out of trouble and be happy is to stay within the confides of the law.
The third argument of Glaucon’s statement is, “The life of an unjust person is better than a just life.” Glaucon believes that a person that lives an unjust life is better. A person is happier with an unjust life because if they can get away with unjust things they can reap the benefit and not suffer any unjustice.
Of the three arguments, the strongest I think Plato has at his disposal is the, “Unjust life is happier than the just life.” Plato in his book the “Republic” argues that the best and happier life is the just life. He explains that the person who lives a tyrannical life lives in a nightmare. A tyrannical person uses everybody in the city, as slaves in order to fulfill their desires. The person also has no one to trust and lives in fear because there is always something after him or her.
The tyrannical life is lawless and has no honor and trust. Plato explains that a city should have honor and form of trust. Without trust there is no friendship. A tyrannical person never experiences what it is like to have a true friend because they master one man over another. The person that lives a tyrannical life acts as though they are having a friendship with someone but when they have what they want they act as a stranger once again. So the person has no friendship because he or she is a slave of there own desires.
Plato compares the democratic life as the better life than of the tyrannical life. A city that is ruled by a democratic person is much better than a tyrannical life because the state is able to have honor, virtue, and friendship. When a person is able to obtain a friendship, they gain trust from another. In a democratic life the people of the city are able to have choices. They have freedom to live their lives the way that is best for them. A democracy has laws that help protect the city from injustice. So a tyrant is ruled by the worst part of the soul compared to the best part of the soul, which would be democratic soul.
I feel that Plato is right in his argument with Thrasymachus. Although I do have feeling the unjust life is better because the fact still remains that if a person is unjust they can reap all the benefits of the things they take. If they can get away with something, they will suffer no injustice and this is where I feel the unjust life is better. It is kind of a, “Finders; keeper, losers; weepers”, ordeal. If I myself have taken something from someone, then they are not getting it back.
The person that lives an unjust life has to suffer consequences of unlawful thing they commit. If a person is caught in the act then, they face jail time. Who wants to be places inside a cell for an extended amount of time because they got caught doing unjust things. A person that is just is able to have trust. Trust helps the people of a city life better because they are all equal. They don’t have any envy over one another, which bring happiness.
In conclusion, Glaucon’s arguments are legitimate but Plato’s arguments are stronger. Although, Glaucon’s arguments are tempting by showing that the unjust life is easier. The just life is better because it helps a person grow into better citizens, making life better for people around them.
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