Unjustice In Plato's The Ring Of Glaucon

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It is inherently human to crave happiness and act with one’s own best interest in mind. It would be illogical to seek out pain or grief, especially if we assume that this is our only life to experience pleasure. If there is no afterlife, then it would make sense for us to spend the time we do have maximizing our personal well-being. The “Ring of Gyges,” an excerpt from Plato’s Republic, addresses the question of whether an unjust man experiences more happiness, or goodness, than a just man. In this excerpt, Glaucon contemplates the idea that injustice is potentially more powerful and more beneficial than justice. Philosophers such as Glaucon would argue that in order to maximize personal gain, it would be more reasonable for everyone to act …show more content…
We are all selfish to some extent. There are instances for each of us when we naturally act for the absolute benefit of ourselves without considering the effect that our hedonistic actions may have on the welfare of others. If an action such as this leads to the unwarranted damage of another’s happiness, if it is morally wrong, then it would be considered unjust. Unjust actions are committed only to improve one’s individual well-being. If the ultimate goal is to maximize one’s well-being, then it would seem that acting unjustly would be reasonable. Contrastingly, if an action improves another’s well-being, if it is morally good, then it would be considered just. It is debatable whether or not one can commit an act of justice, and, in doing so, maximize one’s own happiness. Many would claim that just acts are solely for the sake of others and always at the expense of one’s own self-interest. However, I would argue that committing just acts can inadvertently lead to an increase in happiness for some people. This stems from a sense of accomplishment for doing something right. Therefore, it is indeed possible and reasonable for certain individuals to act justly and experience pleasure and …show more content…
Some would contend that if we may feasibly die tomorrow, should we not live today as hedonistically as possible? While I can understand the reasoning behind this claim, I would continue to say that recklessly unjust acts can only grant temporary pleasure. This instant bliss may be all that is needed for some people who are perfectly fine with acting unjustly. For others, however, these actions may have long-term effects that could result in feelings of dissatisfaction, guilt, or pain. The concept of time when applied to the question of how we should live our lives plays a huge role in determining whether it is more reasonable to act justly or unjustly for each individual. Upon personal reflection, one can identify whether or not they are prone to regretting unjust actions. If this is the case, and the negative feelings that follow are more overpowering than the initial pleasure, then it would be unreasonable for this person to live unjustly. Those who are this way may find that acting justly not only sets them up for greater long-term happiness, but in knowing that they have acted in a way that is for the benefit of, or at least not at the expense of, others leaves them with a feeling of instant satisfaction. In this sense, it all depends on the concerns of the individual and how each

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