The argument which I am focusing on is titled “No One Knowingly Does Evil” and is written by Socrates. This argument concludes that those who do evil things do them involuntarily. That is, people do not necessarily want to do evil things, but do them against their will. A very important point is presented by Socrates in that evil deeds are not done willingly. It is thought by many that some people are simply evil-natured and commit evil deeds because they want to. However, Socrates is arguing that this is not true. By doing this, he is going against common thought and presenting a very debatable conclusion. I will evaluate the argument so as to prove it is a legitimate possibility for the conclusion to be true. It will be shown why it is necessary to look more closely at this argument. Also, objections to this argument will also be discussed. This will show the other side of the story in addition to possible rebuttals by Socrates.
Socrates’ first premise is that “All who do evil things do them against their own will.” This statement is saying that humans do not have control over what they are doing when they commit an evil act. In other words, humans are overcome by some other power and are forced to do these things. Socrates makes it seem as though humans do not have a choice about whether to do right or wrong in some situations, but rather the option to commit evil is chosen for them. Secondly, he states, “One would not voluntarily act against his own will.” Here, Socrates is furthering the thought that humans are overcome by some power and commit acts involuntarily. He explains that no human would want to do something if they were not willing and therefore must be forced into doing it. Putting these two premises together yields the conclusion that “All who do evil things do them involuntarily.” Socrates, in summary, is stating that those who do evil things do not have control over their actions and must be influenced in a very strong way...
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