Philosophy,Morality and Society
Socrateswhile explaining the meaning of self-control indicated that the soulhas two parts- the better and the worse in every individual. Hecontinues to explain that, when the better part is in control of theworse part, the individual has self-control while if the worse partof the soul is in control of the individual, the individual is saidto be self-defeated. Socrates explains that the worse part canoverpower the better because of the bad company or bad upbringing. The better part of the soul is what recognizes what is good and doeswhat is good while the worse part of the soul is the one that knowswhat is bad and directs an individual to do wrong.
Bothparts of the soul are what determines what is ethical and what isunethical. From Socrates point of view, the better part of the soulcompels an individual to be ethical while the worse part forces anindividual to do unethical acts. When the better part of the soul isin control of the worse part, the individual will always do well toothers and do what is ethically acceptable in the society. Everyperson is born with the better part of the soul in control of theworse part. That means that every person is born with self-control.However, according to Socrates, this could change because of theindividual’s upbringing or the company that the person maintains.
Ifa person maintains relations with someone with no morals, then he orshe will adopt the bad behavior, and the worse part of the soul willoverpower the better part. The individual will conduct himself inways that are not acceptable in the society. Also, the type ofenvironment an individual is raised in will determine his morals andethics. If one is raised in a violent neighborhood or there isviolence within the family, the individual could grow up with anegative mindset which will reflect in his persona. In such anenvironment, the worse part of the soul will take control of theindividual which will lead to him or her being morally wrong orunethical. When the better part of the soul is in control of theperson, then he or she is said to be ethical.
Theiractions determine the ethical behaviors of a person. These actionsare controlled by an individual’s reasoning in the brain which iscontrolled by the individual’s soul. That means that Socratesclaims are not just unfounded assumptions but can be justified.Socrates did not make any errors in his reasoning since his claimscan be substantiated. In my opinion, Socrates conclusion can benefitfrom further support. Scientifically speaking, the soul does notexist. However scientific studies can prove that there is someexternal force that controls an individual’s actions. According toscience, the brain controls a person`s reasoning and rationale formaking decisions. It is true but in reality, the brain is controlledby the soul that determines what is right and what is wrong (Plato,45).
Thesoul tells the brain what is right and what is wrong, then the brainwill decide which course of action to take. Plato described the humanpsyche or the soul as that which determines how we behave. Aristotlealso defined soul as a form that requires matter for it to beactualized. He described the human body as the matter and the mind asthe form. Socrates further explains that when reason rules overpassions and desires justice is secured. Justice can only be achievedwhen all individuals apply reason in their actions. The reasoning isdone by the soul of the person and only when proper reasoning isapplied the individual is said to be self-controlled. However, whenreasoning is diluted by either interacting with a bad company or poorupbringing, the individual is said to be unethical and immoral sincethe proper argument is no longer possible.
Inconclusion, Socrates points towards each person having the naturalbetter part in control. That is because, when the better part is incontrol, the individual can act in a morally right manner. Also whenthe naturally better part is in control, the individual is ethical inhis behavior. When everyone in society has his or her naturallybetter part in control, the society will be a better place witheveryone focused on doing what is right by applying reasoning. Alsowhen the better part of the soul is in control, one can live a goodlife without conflicts with others and will be able to interact withthe society. Socrates believed that, when everyone is ethical,justice will always be secured. Also, there will be good leadershipand very few incidents of immoral behavior. The children will beraised in a moral society which will ensure that the worse part ofthe soul does not take control of their lives. If this continues, thesociety will be a success with everyone willing to work for thebetterment of the society as well as individually. Everyone will putthe community’s needs before their own, and the world will be abetter place to live in.
Plato,Plato. Republic.eKitap Projesi, 2015.. 30-72