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Some Thoughts on Plato’s Philosophy

20th August 2016 12:42 pm

An intriguing question: one that is open to endless debate. One will wonder first, though, how we manage our lives to make its way on a daily basis. There is no denying that everything around us is modernized. The old customs and ideals of truth and justice are crumbling under the influence of Western TV shows, movies, books, social networking sites and other forms of media.

The Plato’s Republic tackles different issues of life, its scope is limitless. Arguments arise making one’s intellect toil for further understanding. Some of the professors from different universities tend to agree to Plato’s work while the others dismiss it.  Most of Plato’s works are dedicated to his mentor, Socrates. They are both known as one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Even if they lived so many years ago their ideals resonated throughout time. Plato is said to be the best source of who Socrates is because many of his works reflected his adoration towards his mentor. The dialogue is another work of Plato, wherein the main character is also Socrates. Socrates was dubbed as the “sidewalk philosopher”. It seems he never fails to question life as we know it and that is why many dislike him. But his love of wisdom is compelling. Many questions Plato’s sanity because most of his writings are idealistic. In our world today, it is hard to envision his so-called perfect society, Utopia. There will be a need for global change which is impossible to do in just a snap.

Plato believes that being good is good. He gave examples of what it takes to be a good man. Arguments presented in the documentary film are some of the following: If you would be guaranteed that no one will find out wouldn’t you cheat? ; What is justice? Are certain kinds of music allowed to be sold and censor the arts? ; How one has knowledge? ; What is authentic and what is fake? ; What is a great society?

The famous story of the Allegory of the Cave is a perfect illustration of what Plato wants to tell his readers. The world we live in is our reality yet we do not look at the shadows behind us where reality is far overrated than what we know. It is the reality we ought to know, ought to be. It is like the feeling that we all want to save Mother Earth but no one wants to help mom wash the dishes. In the movie Beyond Borders, an epic tale of the whirlwind love story between two star-crossed lovers in world’s most dangerous places, Sarah Jordan played by Angelina Jolie said “I wonder, do we all know where we belong? And if we do, in our hearts, why do we so often do nothing about it? There must be more to this life, a purpose for us all, a place to belong…”

The issue of democracy against Plato’s Utopia is another intrigue that I would like to emphasize. It was mentioned that maybe Utopia is “an overly ordered, overly clean, and overly good” place to live in. If you would compare it to our world today, lacking is the reverse of the “overly” or perfect society. People are always democratic; we fight for what we think is right. I have read an article from a newspaper a few months ago about the effects of two influential at the same time addictive social networks – Facebook and Twitter. It said that Facebook makes people narcissistic because most of the time account users will upload pictures to flaunt the stereotypical meaning of what is in and beautiful. While Twitter makes people impulsive to tweet or announce in a 120-characters whatever is happening to a person mostly airing anger towards another person which is sad because we cannot take back what is said and done. Though we can delete it after realizing it was a mistake, it is still hurtful. We often forget that democracy is not only a privilege but also an obligation. We are free and independent but there is a fine line between doing it right and being free.

Moreover, allowing a certain type of music may create a buzz locally and internationally. Many songs today are liberated. The reason why people patronize such music because of their catchy tunes, make them feel cool and of course liberate themselves. Censoring the arts will be a tough act. Employment is high in this field of work. The defense of most artists or actors would be preference. Again, this falls under the category of democracy. I personally like some vulgar songs and offensive artworks because they satisfy certain gratification I cannot quite determine and without them the world would be different and boring.

Overall, everyone wants to be good, maybe good at something, in order to be happy. We just differ on how we do things. Maybe it’s time to talk the talk, and walk the walk. Consider Plato’s Republic as a handbook of human survival and living. But I guess a bible is enough and way better than Plato’s Republic, if you are religious enough. Again, let us intrigue but keep in mind that Plato’s time is different from ours. Some of his beliefs may be applicable in our world; the others may take every one of us a lot of getting used to.