Why People Do Bad Thing

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Free will is what gives us the choice to do good or evil and relates to the virtue that every person has. In Plato's "Meno", Socrates argues with Meno over what virtue really is and the true definition. At one point, they discuss that being virtuous is "find joy in beautiful things." The go on at length arguing what is beautiful and what is good. They also cover whether or not people actually do desire bad things or if all people desire good things. At the end they concur that people do not desire bad things and virtue is not "finding joy in beautiful things." Whether or not the definition of virtue is "find joy in beautiful things" is up for someone else to debate but people do desire bad things. In the end, Socrates was wrong in being that people do desire things that they know are bad.

Meno starts out the dialog by introducing the argument. He says that virtue is: desiring beautiful things and having power to acquire them. Socrates asks Meno if desiring beautiful is the same as desiring good things and Meno agrees. Meno is then asked if he believes that there are people that desire bad things or do all people desire good things. This is relevant because if all people desire good things then automatically everyone is virtuous. But some people are not virtuous either because of their decisions and they give in to temptation. Meno replies that he thinks there are people that desire bad things. Socrates clarifies that Meno is referring to people wanting bad things knowing they are bad and those wanting bad things thinking that they are good. Meno agrees to this clarification and this is where the argument should end. It actually continues because Socrates refutes Meno's first idea that some people do desire bad things knowing they are bad.

A historical example of doing bad things knowing that they are bad is the Underground Railroad. This example is different from smoking because this alternative was in the best interest of the slaves at the...
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