Socrates

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We live in a modern world conquered by wrong doings. Why, we tend to ask. What encourages individuals to move towards evil doing? Isn’t self-restraint a sufficient obstacle in the pursuit of evil? One of the many questions which strike us when we are surrounded by injustices is whether it is the wrong individuals or the collective society which drives those particular evil doings. In a sociocultural context, this may be a very subjective question due to the lack of universality in the definition of ‘bad’ in itself. Philosophers, and more recently psychologists, have studied intellectual and neurological causes of wrong actions in search for an answer to the concerned question. One of the very first philosophers who manifested concern for…show more content…
Socrates’ description of the soul as “that within us in virtue of which we are pronounced wise or foolish, good or bad" seems to imply that ethics are internal and the sole responsibility of the same individual. But many, contrarily, argue that ethics are external, standardised and shaped by society, and thus, are not fully our responsibility. The problem with the first view of ethics as being internal is that no one can deny that in today’s modern world, social cohesion is brought about by our actions and their degree of conformity to social ‘standards’, so there exists a strong social influence in our actions. We have conditional interests and biases, many a time, depending on how ‘normal’ an action is considered. For example, having hair with a shocking pink colour would be considered as something out of the ordinary, and is in fact not so common. The problem with the second view of ethics as being something tempered with social influence is that society is, after all, an amalgamation of individuals which perform individual actions and so blaming society for a wrong doing would be, essentially, blaming ourselves. ------------------------------------------------- In my opinion, it is in fact a mixture of the two; a process. Societies mark us with their influence, but that is not final. The final decision in a wrong doing is always that of the doer.

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