"The Republic" by Plato


The Republic written by Plato examines many things. It mainly is about
the Good life. Plato seems to believe that the perfect life is led only under
perfect conditions which is the perfect society. Within the perfect society
there would have to be justice. In the Republic it seems that justice is
defined many different ways. In this paper I am going to discuss a few. First
I am going to discuss the reason why Glaucon and Adeimantus see justice as
being a bad thing and it is better to live a unjust life.
Plato\'s elder brother Glaucon argues that the just man is only just
because of the fear that he will get caught and punished or the fear of having a
bad 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 break
into houses unseen, and help themselves to whatever they wanted. The just man
would 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 man
invisible unable to get caught. Glaucon say this proves that people are just
only because they find it necessary.
Adeimantus another philosopher and Socrates elder brother brought up
the fact that we should take a look at the kinds of things people actually say
when they get praised justice and condemn injustice. Adeimantus explains by
saying that fathers tell there sons to be just because of the good reputations
and social prestige that attaches to justice. So it is not justice itself that
is recommended, but rather, the respectability that it brings with it. He
believes that the son will realize to be just is only worth it if you can get a
good reputation. Unless you are truly just the gods will punish you but as we
have learned from the poets the gods can be bribed so if you live the unjust
life you can bribe the gods to not punish you. If an unjust person fakes a
good reputation then he can have a wonderful life. He says live a wonderful
life because the unjust man is said to live a better life because he could cheat
and live well but a just man has to live with what he has or earn his wealth
honestly.
Glaucon points of justice as I see them are fake and unclear. He says
that if a just person were to have a magic ring then he would act as a true
unjust person because there is no fear of punishment. If he was a truly a just
person then he would not be unjust even if there was no fear of punishment. I
define a true just man on his spirit and intentions if he is only being just
because of fear of punishment then he is not just nor if he is only being just
if he desire a good reputation. A man to be truly just must desire and get his
pleasure 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 has
the power and the wealth to boss the just man around and bribe the gods so he
does not get punished by them.
Socrates goes on saying that the life and surroundings are what makes up
a just person. A just person should be educated and trained of what is right
and wrong. The quality of the justice is to be found in the society. If a
society is unjust there can not be a just man coming out of the society because
all he is taught is to be unjust. I agree that a just man must be educated and
trained to tell what is right and wrong. I disagree with Socrates point that a
just man is solely educated by the society around him. I believe that a just
man is not educated solely by the society but rather educated by his parents and
family and only barely influenced by the society. There fore a just man can
come out of a unjust city and live to learn the honest life
Adeimantus point of the father telling the son to be just only because
it will give you a good reputation