In Republic, Book IV by Plato, Socrates persuades Glaucon that being a just person means having a just character is both profitable and desirable for the individual. He counterbalances just with unjust action stating that that it is more valuable for the person to be just than do any good by achieving it through some unjust actions. This paper is an attempt to analyze the thoughts of Socrates regarding justice with respect to the ideal state.
The original intent of the ideal state creation was a state where justice flourishes; it also means that all of the citizenry shall be happy. Socrates claims regarding happiness construction: it is not some materialistic wealthy thing; having a happy life does not mean merely life of festivity and revelry. Socrates reiterates that the happiness is instilled in each individual and that constitutes the happiness of the state, which depends upon people’s functioning well: doing their tasks while performing job conscientiously.
Socrates addresses a specific problem regarding craftsmen. He is convinced about their stability: craftsmen should not suffer both from extreme wealth or poverty. Socrates argues that extreme wealth causes laziness and laxness in craftsmen activities and there is a chance that they may refuse working. At the same time, extreme poverty will turn them away from money, the main driving force for trade and will unable them from work. Socrates is convinced that in both cases, these conditions will be a troublesome for the state.
Socrates claims about the need of many laws referring to the ideal state stating about their overabundance and suffering of the communities dealing with particular cases. He is convinced that too many laws will make us lose the sight of what we actually seek, which is justice for everybody.
Socrates says that it should be done through already established programs on education and nurture stating that it is the only true way to achieve general truth. The philosopher is convinced that education will help to have a clear vision of the creation of the just state with the just citizens in it.
Although I might sound as perfectionist, I suppose that each person needs to try reaching perfectness in everything he or she does. A just character is desirable in itself that is why we can observe so much unjust individuals.
The only thing is the question of the presence of merely just individuals in the ideal state. If to look at the question of the ideality, something, in order to be ideal, does not necessarily have to have all the ideal constituents. Moreover, it should have everything in range as two sides of the medallion: positive and negative. Single feeling of contrast can draw completeness of the concrete object (YCDSB) or science, for example, medicine (Van de Schans et al. 1).
Being a just person also depends upon many factors and situations. It is also different in various religions. For example, Christians believe that just is only God and all individuals being sinners from the very birth cannot a priori be just because they are sinners.
In this case we can analyze individual within the frames of the same individuals surrounded. There is a proverb, everything can be studied in comparison, and thus, just person can be compared to other just one and still can be different.
Although we are all born in various countries and in different times, we are all being educated by different family approaches and methodologies. Moreover, we are all different in our own nature despite the society wants to put some frames and refer us to certain level of the society, certain type of personality. For this reason it is hard to categorize the meaning of being a just person itself.
When we connect the term to the matter of happiness, a place for argument here exists as well. Being happy does not make a person necessarily a just individual in this case. I would rather say that a pure person can be a just one. For example, person while taking drugs or better mushrooms can feel very happy, share love and happiness to the entire surrounding world but that does not mean that he or he has a pure mind and motives.
The person addicted to be happy cannot harm anybody and still be very positive in relations to others. Such individual can also be very smart and well-educated. It can be simply his or her choice to live the life in a way, which is the best for them: to be happy in their way; and such choice in democratic countries has to be respected.
Despite education and nurture are very important elements in building a just individuals, citizens of the ideal state, these arguments can be debated here as well. There are many incidents when person entering the university was nurtured in a family with certain beliefs, but upon the graduation has changed completely.
After taking some of the religious courses, for example, and exploring the subject, the graduate decides to be an atheist or when being educated as a patriot of his or her country they start perceiving the world through the prism of chauvinistic ideals. Thus, I think, the question of being a just person is very debatable. And the laws are made to follow them. The society is progressing and technologies are bringing us to the new stage of life where there is a possibility that we might not need any laws at all as everybody will be watched and chipped as robots. The main thing is who can be the source of the desire to have a “team-state” of just individuals initially. Does such desire spread from the vertical structure of governance or goes up from horizontal.
Analyzing the paragraph 442 and proceeding to 445b, I would like to both agree and debate with the author. First, I agree with the explanation of combination of body and soul and characteristics of justice and injustice.
I disagree with a saying that it is not worth living when individual chooses a different way of life meaning drinking various fermented liquors and having a lot of money. Socrates agrees with the idea that such a wealthy person is not worth living because his or her body’s nature is completely ruined.
I am supporter of the idea that if person came to this world and does not behaves “justly” at the moment, that individual still has some mission in life and, thus, shall be given a chance to implement his or her life task or bring particular message to corresponding addressee. I am convinced that we are not living incidentally on this planet and every life shall be supported and influenced to stimulate better behavior if there is none yet.
Another point I would like to disagree with a moment of parallelization of variety of specific types of souls with specific types of political constitution. I suppose, these cannot be compared because politics is created by some people, thus, there are even more souls. Each individual is special and political construction tries to group them, to put them under certain frames.
Considering all of the aforementioned, I am convinced that such way of building of the argument brings us to the conclusion on the impossibility of constructing ideal state with just individuals. Every aspect and every individual situation has always to be taken into an account.