Justice And Injustice In Plato's Republic

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In this paper, I am going to explain the argument in Plato’s Republic that pertains to the story of the Ring of Gyges, as well as offer a criticism of the argument.
In the Republic, Glaucon asks Socrates to defend justice and prove that justice is better than injustice. More specifically, Glaucon wants Socrates to prove that not only are the outcomes of justice desired, but that justice itself is desired, rather than being a burden. Glaucon uses the tale of the Ring of Gyges to support his explanation of why justice is not preferred over injustice. In the tale, a shepherd finds a ring which gives him the ability to turn invisible. The man then seduces the king’s wife, kills the king, and becomes the new ruler, easily changing his life from
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In the situation, the just person is treated as if he were an unjust person, and the unjust person is treated as if he were a just person. The issue is that the different treatments each man receives are extreme opposites and create a biased hypothetical example. Because punishments are specifically for unjust people, they are designed to be unpleasant and are meant to outweigh the benefit of unjust actions to deter unjust people from repeating their actions. When someone is just, there are no benefits designed for just people because people are expected to be just and follow the laws since there would be consequences to face otherwise. The issue with Glaucon’s argument is that the consequences of acting unjustly far outweigh both acting justly and unjustly. As Glaucon describes, the punishments include physical pain such as whipping and worse, which outweigh both the unjust actions and just actions. Since the punishments are overbearing, whichever side has them will lose, meaning Glaucon set up his scenario so that justice would lose to injustice. A potentially fairer situation would be one in which Glaucon removes the benefits of each type of action from the action itself. As an example, a just person would act justly but not receive any benefit such as positive feelings for acting justly, and an unjust person would act unjustly without receiving any of the benefit of

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