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
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