Socrates had to explain to Glaucon ‘what is good?’ because they were having a discussion with Cephalus, while they were visiting a festival at Piraeus. At one point in the discussion, when Cephalus leaves to attend to the sacrifices of the holy festival, Socrates, Glaucon and others join in a discussion about being good. …
Glaucon was not convinced; and he wished to argue with Socrates that apparently, unjust people live a more successful life than the just people. He wanted explanation as to why gods confer power and wealth to the unjust, powerful and evil persons only? Why virtue is not the scale of judgment of the gods to bless people? Why is it so that unjust people appear to have more material gains and lead a happier life than just people? To clarify this, Socrates explained to him that justice may be an individual virtue or virtue of the State. The main aim of explaining what goodness is all about is to lay down the foundation of a State or a Republic where the rulers serve in the interest of their subjects. Being good is a very complex definition as it touches various aspects of the personality, the nature and the consequences of a person. For example, being good in old age; or while doing justice; or while distinguishing between a friend and a foe requires wisdom. He actually strengthened his argument for the major subject of his rhetoric i.e. the welfare of the State. He believed that the primary duty of the rulers of the State was to be good to them. The state should function according to the interests of the subjects- not the rulers. ...
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