The author Plato argues for the following controversial conclusion: In the course of his writings, the philosopher Plato extensively examined what he considered serious dangers that resided within the system of democracy. He believes that democracy is not an ideology ruling system. He supports this premise with the following premises: Not all people are qualified to vote especially when it comes to deciding on who will be the next ruler. In addition, plato considers voting as a skill and as any other skill it needs to be taught to people. The second premises that will be discussed in this paper , is that according to The Republic, in order to reach a eudaimonia or happiness a person should constantly examine his/her own life because unexamined life is not worth living and it crucial for self-improvement. This essay will examine each premise in the light of objectors and then defend Plato from these objections.
The possible objection to the first premise people think that democracy can be the closest system to ideology in the civil world and that each person have the right to vote in deciding all matters in the country. Reply to the first objection there are several evidence from the past and the present that democracy is not a productive system and does not manufacture a better society. Many people roughly disagree with some of Plato’s point of views on politics especially nowadays including those in high power such as, politicians and rulers. Indeed, these people have a thing in common that all they care about is themselves and would put their interests above anything else and neglect what is better for a society as a whole. And they would do whatever it takes to maintain power only to serve their own benefits and those who follow them. Moreover, they follow a different approach in life which rise the question why would they be against Plato’s teaching? As it is known even in Plato’s time (around 424 BCE) many of those who were in power stood against him which explains that those rulers back then and now only think about themselves and ways to reach or gain more power even if it means they have to do the worst to achieve it. Sometimes I think it is human nature to be afraid of losing whatever power in hand and that it is hard when a person have control over something to give it up and humans will always need more. These people think democracy is an ambiguous good but Plato thinks the opposite and he support his claim by demonstrating the fact that not all people are qualified to vote.However, if the person in charge is righteous will be brave to not fall into this trap of approaching more control by using unethical methods because after all what really matter is the inside power which is believed to be knowledge. Certainly, if a person got his position in unethical way it would be hard to change that path that is why many of those who took the wrong path in reaching their positions, ended up being unjust or corrupt because they got it wrong from the first place.For instance, If you’re traveling to some destination on a ship would you rather to take a vote on who would be in charge of the ship or would you let those who are experts in sailing decide who should be the captain? the aforementioned example was one way for Plato to illustrate his point and show the flaws of democracy. However, Plato is not against the idea of voting or deciding within a group but he thinks that qualified people that are trustworthy should do it.
The possible objection to the second premise is that some people think that it is a waste of time and energy to examine your life and instead there are other tasks a person will benefit more from than self-examination and that it could lead to depression and other mental diseases. Reply to the second objection: Self-examination makes a person more connected to his innate nature which will encourage thinking and once a person attain this stage it will allow the person to expand the horizon of nature. Socratic method of teaching leads to a fulfill life by following virtues and thinking more and not to follow doxa because popular opinions edge us towards the wrong values, career and relationships. Plato’s answer to that is to know yourself and it means to to do some sort of examination by using a socratic decision to examine yourself also it can be done by someone you trust and wants to help change you for the better. Although the process of self-examination is simple , It can be a slightly difficult thing to do at first because it requires honesty, courage and practice. Unfortunately, Some people just live their life accordingly, go to work then come back, watch some TV then go to sleep and repeat. Maybe nowadays our lifestyle encourages that type of pattern but we can always find the time to do some self-examination even it is just 10-15 min in bed before sleeping. In addition, some governments tend to highly encourage that type of living to gain more money and keep people away from the truth and far from what’s really matter. This is why self-examination can free us from these distraction and will help our minds to think and create its organic ideas.
Theoretical observation: due to the importance of thinking, It is a major key to succeed throughout life. In contrast we find the opposite in the media where they discourage thinking by delivering false messages about what we should be concerns about to distract people. For instance, different media sources promote the idea of not thinking in the right direction by changing fact and psychologically manipulate the audience so they can sway their way to gain more influence on people which then they will have the receiver’s conscious to promote the things they like. People need to be more cautious about that and be more independent on their thoughts and beliefs and raise awareness in schools and among children about the things they see and read whether it is on the Internet or on TV. That is why Plato emphasis on the importance of thinking and meditating because when people spend time thinking about what really matters, an individual will be able to master the life. It is not that easy to concentrate for a period of time on certain thoughts thus to find the right way of doing it a person needs devotion and focus. Plato asserts that a person should not stop examine his own life because unexamined life is not worth living. An individual needs to become a master of him/herself using reason to rain in his passion and what he can to promote stability in community. This explains that life reflects on us as the same way as we reflect on it.
Significance Plato focuses on developing virtues and noble characteristics by connecting with our inner self . Furthermore, he notes that by giving this example of the tale of the ring of Gyges , that if man who gets the ring can do anything he crave and have everything he wants would he resist the temptation of desire and be virtues? The moral of the story is not merely to appear just, it is to be just even if nobody knows it because after all what matter most is what we think of ourselves not what other people think of us.
Plato quickly adopted Socrates’ teachings and turned his studies toward the question of virtue and noble character. Socrates political goal is to to have happiness for the city as a whole he wasn’t cocern by individual or particular classes when it comes to politics and for this reason many were against him especially those in power. During the election in United States many people voted for Nixon because he was a better looking than his opponent which is not a valid nor reasonable reason for choosing a president. The aforementioned example proves Plato’s point that not all people are ready for voting.
Also religious such as Judaism, christianity and Islam encourage people to think about God’s creation. Same concept and virtues apply on socrates teaching which made me think if some of these theorists might have inspired their messages from a prophet or if they happened to be one of God’s prophet or messengers. Also like many prophets, Plato and Socrates devoted their life to a purpose that guide people to a better life without requesting any materialistic reward in return such as, payments. However, Nothing written by Socrates remains extant. As a result, information about him and his philosophies depends upon secondary sources. Therefore, few contradictions can be found through some of their work.
We can find many of his teaching in different areas of life such as, the way of raising children by educating them and urge them to do more physical activities such as exercises it might solve many of today’s parenting problems. And that spirit is a combination of three parts desire ,wisdom and knowledge and in order to reach happiness we must have balance between them. The reason I mentioned this, is that Plato’s books cover most areas of life to inlight people.important and interesting concepts, of topics ranging from music, to gender equality, to political regime. For this reason, many philosophers and scholars still look back to The Republic in spite of its age. Yet one part that stands out in particular is Plato’s discussion of the soul in the fourth book of the Republic. Not only is this section interesting, but it was also extremely important for all proceeding moral philosophy, as Plato’s definition has been used ever since as a standard since then.