Socrates – The Republic Essay, Research Paper
The theme of The Republic is very complicated in some ways; it is a manual of sorts, which demonstrates how society can achieve virtue. In the beginning of the Republic, we are introduced to the fundamental question of the rest of the text, whether it is more beneficial to live justly (moral) or unjustly (immoral). It is also important to note that The Republic is not arguing which is “better”, but rather which is more beneficial, whether the just or unjust life will make one happier. I believe that morality is both instrumentally and intrinsically valuable and when morality is compared to immorality.
First, let?s take a closer look at morality. Morality is simply the politics of the passions, and it is often classed as a respect for manners and customs. Morality is that action which is acceptable to others, and mainly the majority. Many have said morality is our prejudices learned, as we grow older. Power often controls our morality. Yet, moral happiness should be the road all would choose, as it is the path of highest reward. Though morality is no more than a personal choice, more people could make the best choice, if it became monetarily easier to do so. Truth may be the founding father of morality, and universally unites morality, and immorality
Moral rules must be flexible, society changes and with it so does morality. Morality must be as
Agreed upon by, religious and non-religious alike, because morality, as everything else is part of an evolutionary process. By manifesting religious or scientific laws you manifest prejudice, ignorance and introduce immorality
Morality is often vice to power, especially in decadent times. Yet, scientific morality knows the moral to be the best, and we should all know morality ends where force begins. To become totally moral is impossible, but to throw away morality is to throw away the human soul. On the other hand, many show that immorality has its advantages materialistically, but not realizing the dangers of being immoral.
Socrates was one of the most influential philosophers, and his views on morality and immorality are equally beneficial, depending on the views and actions of people. There are many instance when moral conduct could be considered immoral and visa versa.
?Let?s put it this way,? I said. ? A moral person doesn?t set himself up as superior to people who are like him, but only to people that are unlike him; an immoral person, on the other hand, sets himself up as superior to people who are like him as well as to people who are like him.? (Page 34, 349c, The Republic)
This paragraph is trying to illustrate the difference between what being moral and immoral is. A person who is moral only thinks of themselves superior over those that are immoral, because an immoral person is a less moral person. But the person that is immoral thinks of himself or herself as superior to everyone, making that one of many reasons they are considered immoral. Thus, bringing a better acknowledgement of the difference between moral and immoral.
Socrates proves that justice brings unity to any group of people, since it allows them to trust and rely on each other. He points out that the gods are just, so an unjust person is their enemy. He proves that justice is the virtue of a person’s soul, and permits it to function well, a just person will function well, live happily, and an unjust person will not. He also demonstrates that morality is more beneficial to its possessor. An individual gains happiness by being moral, whether or not they accumulate anything material.
?The point is that immorality has a bad name because people are afraid of being at the receiving end of it, not of doing it. (344c, page 27, The Republic)
Although people take pleasure from material things, it is safer being moral than immoral, because immoral actions have consequences. People would behave immorally, only if they knew they could get away with it, having no consequences. Society often favors those who are moral than those who are immoral. Morality is more acceptable and makes that person more influential, knowledgeable, intellectual, and analytic. A moral person has many opportunities that an immoral one does not. A moral person has good consequences according to their action, while an immoral person has good and bad consequences according to theirs. One of the most important things against morality is it being to someone else?s advantage, that morality is unprofitable to its possessor.
Morality may be considered as a virtue, since by dishonesty and thievery one can get far in life, monetarily. Therefore immorality is an unjust behavior and is a sign of ignorance and vice, not wisdom. Morality could be considered beneficial and non-beneficial. It beneficially strengthens an individuals standing before god, if he is religious and non-beneficial if he is not. Being moral is an aspect all people should strive fore, it is my belief that all people are immoral, and strives to become less immoral.
So which is more beneficial Morality or immorality? A just person is happier than the unjust person for this reason, which the just person’s soul is in order, whereas the unjust person’s soul is in decay and disorder. Secondly, the just person’s desires are satisfied, since their rational parts limits their desires, whereas the unjust person’s desires are rampant and out of control. In conclusion, I would have to agree and disagree with Socrates, for all people are immoral and they strive to become moral, but no one person is ever truly moral, although it is favorable for a person to strive towards morality and value it. On one point I would have to agree with Thrasymacus, on the basis that all people are hypocrites and many only give the illusion of morality, but in reality they are immoral. Overall, a person who strives for morality is superior to anyone who is immoral. Morality is both instrumentally and intrinsically valuable and when it?s compared to immorality, we learn that morality is a conduct of happiness, because morality is a personal choice, to do the things that are just.
Waterfield, Robin, PLATO?S REPUBLIC, Oxford University Press, 1993.