Choosing Between Life and Benevolence
According to the famous philosopher, Socrates "it's better to suffer an injustice, than to commit an injustice." Choosing between life and death; are people at fault for the problems that people have to face in life? Most of the problems in life are dilemmas, where you can choose between two decisions that are equally hard to do. In the play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, John Proctor, the main character and demonstrates choosing between life and death by looking at Socrates' famous dictum. Proctor was one of the many citizens in Salem that, with one word, could have saved everyone's life and his own if he would have confessed to the charges that were filed against him. By not giving in, and choosing death he shows the one of the three goods that Socrates believes in, which are: the subjectively satisfying good, the moral good and the beneficial good. Not only was Proctors decision a bold decision, he made a bold statement also, "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another one in my life! ..." (P133)
The subjectively satisfying good is when a person does something to satisfy our needs. Throughout the story, Proctor shows that he is a loving companion and father, along with being satisfied with his job of being a farmer, however when his wife gets ill for a long period of time he feels that he needs to satisfy his urges by having sexual interactions. He does this with the minister of the town's niece, Abigail Williams. After the fact, he realizes that he has done wrong by accepting his faults when the gossip goes throughout the town.
Defining the humanity of a person was important to Socrates. He specifies this good the moral good, or the "ought to" or "ought not" to good, which is basically what choosing between good and evil in a person everyday life. John Proctor could have saved his life by signing the confession, but because he was so humble he thought of other people before he thought of himself. He...
Bibliography: Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. 1st ed. Tor Books, 1953. 1-384.
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