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phil paper

phil paper - Lisa Hagen Ethics for Dissenters Paper#1...

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Lisa Hagen Ethics for Dissenters Paper #1 3/5/08 Socrates the Benevolent Transgressor An excess of luxury, wealth and prestige had overcome Athens . In his various works Plato attempts to shift the focus of his community to the havoc he saw being wrought upon the very souls of the individual citizens . Seeing his teacher criminalized and put to death for his freedom of thought provided for the thinker ample ground on which to bring into representation what he thought of as the just and virtuous society . Socrates did much in his lifetime to provoke thought about what ideas such as these truly consisted of; the words hid behind them some pure essence which could be harnessed by men if they might take the time to seek wisdom and consistency rather than devoting their souls to the empty accumulation of wealth . He is accused by one of these men, of a number of offenses, the most serious of which included infecting the youth with his thirst for philosophical debate, and leading them to believe in “the weaker argument,” and sentenced to die . His accuser Meletus is made to look foolish in court, and proven before many to be unknowledgeable and divided within himself, though he achieves success in his prosecution, convincing a significant proportion of voters that Socrates; ideas present an unacceptable alternative to what is accepted in classical Greece as well as threat to they and their children. Speaking of a person in which all parts of the soul are functioning and relating to the others properly, Plato writes, “would he not be incapable of sacrilege and theft, or of treachery to friend or country…” going on to describe other wrong acts the unity of the elements of the soul
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would be unlikely to produce . Even stopping short of the capacity for adultery or neglect of one’s parents, a reader might be curious as to whether or not these actions are mutually incompatible, that is to say, whether it is feasible that one might betray a friend in service to the gods, or perhaps commit theft on behalf of a suffering parent . One problem arising in examining Plato’s work is whether or not Socrates’ ideal, truth- seeking society would contain any criminal element at all . Even Aristotle states in his discussion of golden means, that there is no right way to commit theft or adultery; some acts are tainted regardless of context (a stand that seems somewhat out of step with the rest of his argument) . Early on Socrates argues that the just man and the just society are models for each other, and discusses them extensively together, but neglects the scenario of the just man in an unjust society, which, not being an examination of ideal forms would of course be out of character for him to address, though this would be the picture closet to his experience . In his exploration of a notion of communal living arrangements, where he suggests that
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