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Why It Is Good to Be Good Or Why It Is Goodness Constructive - Essay Example

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Why It Is Good to Be Good Or Why It Is Goodness Constructive

He provides a constructive definition of justice, because it builds up on the individual level of justice and he applies it to the social notion of justice. Justice is related to goodness, because it is good to be just. This essay examines good and evil and relates it to Plato’s The Republic, as well as Cataleya, a heroine. Evil is differentiated from good in this essay, because it creates injustice and comes from violating the virtues of the soul, according to Book II of The Republic. I agree with Plato that being good is good in itself, and it is also good because of its virtuous individual and social consequences, and these arguments support the claims that a just soul is good and a just city is also good. In order to understand what is good, it is important to examine the meaning of justice, because this essay shows that justice is good for humanity. One of the ways to establish what justice means is through defining what it is not. In Book I, the Sophist Thrasymachus argues: “justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger.” He says this to undermine the need for justice, since Sophists are known to lambast virtues as useless to society. He feels that justice does not serve the needs of the whole, and instead, it only preserves the interests of whoever is in power. Socrates counters that injustice is the one that is wrong because it opposes wisdom. He explains how people pursue their talents, since they have the wisdom to do so, but when they stop pursuing their talents, then there is injustice. In this sense, justice does not serve the strong only, but also every individual who knows that what is just is to do achieve their specialized potential (Plato Book IV). Socrates also shows through his arguments that certain rules which allow a group to act in common help them reach their goals and there is justice in that. Thrasymachus already praised before the need to follow a set of rules. Lastly, Socrates argues that if justice is a virtue of the soul, and the virtue of the soul refers to the health of the soul, justice is attractive because it contributes to the health of the soul. Socrates asks: “Then the just is happy, and the unjust miserable?” Indeed, this essay agrees that the just is happy, because the just follow the virtues of the soul. To follow these virtues is good. Another example is Cataleya. She is not evil, because she only wants to keep herself alive. To be alive is aligned with the rational part of the soul and in Book IV, Plato notes that rationality is part of the virtues. If Cataleya is being rational in preserving her life, this makes her partially good. If she is partially good, then she cannot be charged as being 100% evil. This example supports that Cataleya does justice for herself in ways that can be argued as good too. Being good is good because it is good in itself. To be good is good, since it results to living a virtuous life and a virtuous life is good. Plato believes that the soul has several human desires: knowledge, honor, and appetites. To be good is good in itself because it balances these human desires, which is argued in Book IV. Being good makes a virtuous existence, where a person lives in accordance to his talents and needs or human desires. Justice makes it possible that this individual lives with others and experiences the same level of virtues, although this can only be attained in a virtuous society, according to Socrates in Book IV. Without justice, people can harm one another without finding any regulator of their behaviors. To be good is necessary for the society to be good too. This goodness makes it possible for people to have a happy life as individuals. In relation to Cataleya, to ...Show more
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8 February 2012
Good as Good in Itself
Why is it good to be good? In Books I, II, and IV of The Republic, Plato explores the definition of justice that hails from his understanding of the virtues of the soul. …
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