The Myth of Er

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The Myth of Er concerns the issue of what happens to us after death. What Socrates is trying to sum up, which he has been mentioning through out the entire book, is that we should all live a wise, strenuous, and philosophical way of life. Socrates’ tale is for people from all walks of life, he only wants us to pursue a just way of life. The way it correlates to politics is that he wants people that hold a high status is politics to make sure they are just in the decisions they make for their people, because they will have to pay for it in the afterlife. The tale is obviously a lie and its only intention is to scare people. The number one way to motivate a large population to listen is through fear, and it’s pretty obvious that this myth is just a noble lie.

The point of the myth is simply: strike fear into the hearts of people. “For all unjust deeds they had done anyone and all the men to whom they had done injustice, they had paid the penalty for each injustice, ten times over for each.” (Plato P. 298) Having said this, anyone in the pursuit of a just and happy life, in this world and in the next, would interpret this and evade from committing injustices. And since the reward for doing good deeds is the same, people that are striving for a just life well do there very best to help others. Now that you have people that are in constant fear that once they have committed an injustice they will rot in hell for one thousand years, the crime rate in that area where people believe that, will probably be very low. In conclusion, if you are constantly trying to help others you are probably living a strenuous life due to the fact your trying to keep your family and loved ones happy by working hard. Also if you’re thinking very carefully of your future actions, to make sure your not committing injustices, then you are most likely living a wise and philosophical life. In the end, this is everything that Socrates is trying to promote.

This tale goes hand in hand with...
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