Glaucon's Argument For The Existence Of Virtue

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In this paper I will demonstrate why Glaucon’s argument, that the best sort of life-best in the sense of being best for the person themselves- is one in which a person lives unjustly yet is thought of as virtuous, is correct. First, I will illustrate the example of two men, one fully just and the other fully unjust, and what their subsequent lives would be. Then, I will explain how regardless of whether or not there is a God, being unjust will always lead to a better sort of life for oneself than a life of virtue. Next, after I lay out a possible objection to my argument, that a person can have all the joys of an unjust life and still live a just one, I will illustrate how the concept of unjust actions being more profitable than virtuous ones…show more content…
Therefore, and because justice is arduous, he argues that no one would live a just life just for the sake of being just. Injustice, on the other hand, is more natural; it is not a burden, but rather typically easy and useful. For these reasons, Glaucon argues that the best sort of life for a person is one in which they are unjust but people think that they are virtuous, and therefore reap the rewards that come with it. In this way, a person can get ahead by being unjust, but not pay the penalty for it because they are thought of as…show more content…
The first person is fully unjust, meaning he lives a life of injustice but has made sure that everyone thinks he is just. In this way, he can defend himself if he is ever caught. The second person is fully just, living a life of virtue for its own sake. But to make sure that this person is living a just life for its own sake, everyone around him must believe that he is unjust; in this way, we know that this second person is truly being just for the sake of being just. In these cases, the life of the unjust person will be a lot better than the life of the just person. The unjust person will be able to provide for his family, enjoying the lavishes that come with being able to be unjust and thought virtuous. On the other hand, the just person will face the consequences of being unjust, although he has never done anything bad in his life; he will face punishment and jail. While these are extreme cases, they underscore Glaucon’s main point: justice is only good if everyone around oneself believes one to be just. As he says, “The various sayings suggest that there is no advantage in my being just if I’m not also thought just, while the troubles and penalties of being just are apparent. But they tell me that an unjust person, who has secured for himself a reputation for justice, lives the life of a god”

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