The Noble Lie In Plato's Republic

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In Plato’s Republic, what are the key elements of the “noble lie,” what is its main purpose, and is the lie truly noble? I shall argue that the key elements of the “noble lie” include gold, silver, iron, and bronze. The main purpose fosters more care for the city and its inhabitants. The lie is not truly noble. The key elements of the “noble lie” require people’s belief in them. Socrates (S) says that people must believe that their former education did not truly occur (99). The real elements, from the periodic table, come into play next. S says that the city should divide the people based on the metal in their souls. The rulers have gold souls, auxiliaries have silver, farmers have iron, and craftsmen have bronze (100). Rulers must…show more content…
The problem with the lie is that it takes away people’s free will and choices, things that make life interesting. Everyone follows predetermined paths based on circumstances of birth. If the metals decide one’s path and therefore occupation (100), one cannot pursue the career that one desires. Also, the lie only works properly if the rulers cooperate with it and move people strictly based on their soul metals (100). If the rulers do not believe in the system, and S does say the system can work without their belief (99), abuse of power can occur; the rulers could choose friends or enemies and move those people to where they want the people to go. The lie also has many fallacies that remove the nobility from this “noble lie.” The rules about auxiliaries contain many such problems. Only auxiliares get housing provided for them (101). Providing housing to one class and not the others takes the fairness out of this system. Auxiliaries also cannot own private property; they may only claim it if it is necessary to live (101). Another fallacy includes what to do with those people who have mixed metals in their souls (100). If someone contains a mix of gold and bronze, where would this person go? Would the person be a ruler or a

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