Plato on Harm
Plato on Harm
Harm based on Plato’s view is a negative action that affects another party or thing in a harmful manner. Harm can be related to the moral and ethical principles of beneficence. Harm is seen as an opposite of the principles of beneficence in that the latter refers to actions of charity, kindness, and mercy. Plato noted that harm, with regard to other people, resulted in decline in their respective human excellence. On harming others, one robs them of their exceptional qualities and gives them negative ideals.
The provided by Plato is seen as appropriate as it resonates from the concepts of justice and beneficence. It is clear that justice is a basic component of human excellence, which is negated by harm. Committing harm against an individual goes against justice and principles of beneficence. In arguments by Socrates, he noted that the primary aim of humanity was not life, but living a good life. Living a good life should mean that people abide by the basic principle aspects of justice. In addition, he adds, that harm is not a component of justice irrespective of harming someone being a utilitarian action.
Socrates in response to Plato’s claims noted that when individuals are harmed the decline in their respective human virtue and values. Thus, justice being an integral human virtue does not consist of human virtues. In addition, he also noted that harm makes people “worse”. It results in corruption of their justice virtues and in the process, they become unjust. In addition, Socrates noted in his reply that only unjust people were able to corrupt the good and make them harmful towards others.
In addition, it also important to note of the contributions made by Polemarchus in regard to the concept of justice as raised by Plato and the responses given by Socrates. Polemarchus claims “”justice is to benefit one’s friends and harm one’s enemies”. This can be seen in a variety of common social aspects such as war, politics and in social relationships. The arguments engaged by the three parties resulted in questions over what is right and more so the definition of justice with accuracy. Plato questioned Polemarchus’ claims that justice was doing what was favorable to him and his friend by harming the enemies. He asked if the definition of friends was those an individual believes are helpful and important in life. He explicitly notes that harming enemies of one’s friends results in express deterioration of the excellence of such entities. It deprives them their human excellence and thus corrupts their just nature resulting in unjust men.
It is noted that it is never a function of heat to ensure cooling of things. From such a perspective, it is recognized that it is not a function of a just human being to harm another. Hence, it is impossible for a just man to consider or event act in harming his enemies or those of his friends, and family. This is because a wise man is incapable to considering such falsehood. Thrasymachus contradicted Socrates and Plato by noting that a just man wields power. Justice is seemingly an advantage of the stronger parties in society.
In addition, he also noted that justice was similar in terms of concept and virtue around the world and is only a preserve of the advantaged and strong in society. He illustrates his point by noting that the strong and advantaged in society such as lawmakers usually develop laws that serve their primary interests. From the perspective provided by Plato and arguments with some of his associates, it is evident that justice has varied connotations. It is understood as a virtue relative to human excellence as well as a position held by the strong and advantaged in society. This affirms that justice is a central view held by a majority in terms of what is right and wrong. In addition, it is a virtue of human excellence, which can be corrupted with ease in the event that one engages with unjust and immoral or unethical parties.