The White Lie Essay

1057 Words 5 Pages
The White Lie

People are always talking about the white lie and how this kind of lying doesn't hurt other people. Other people feel that any lie is one that should not be made. No matter what individuals have to say about lies, Socrates feels that it is necessary to create a noble lie so that his vision of the just state, or kallipolis, can be created. The Myth of the Metals, Socrates myth, in no way contradicts his definition of justice in The Republic. The so-called noble lie that Socrates puts together is called the Myth of the Metals. This is created to explain to those in the city the reason for their class position. It is brought about when Socrates is talking to Glaucon and they are arguing the manner in which the
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It is possible that a child of gold or silver blood will be born to those of copper or bronze blood. In that case, the child will be recognized and raised by the designated class. The same is true vice versa. Because of this noble lie, Socrates will be able to control and keep the designated classes in their places. The question to be asked is, does this lie follow Socrates' belief of what justice is? To look at this we must first discover what is Socrates' definition of justice? After setting up his ideal state, there are three distinct classes of people. Each of these people is best suited for doing his or her job in their area of skill. One cannot perform this task to the fullest however, if it is not the only task that he or she does. For example, a steak knife is best suited to cutting steaks. If it were designed to also spread butter, it would not be as good a steak knife for cutting steak. It is for this reason that each class must do only what it is best suited for them. After this is stated Socrates and Glaucon go on to decide how the rulers should be raised and how the guardians should grow up. All of this is not necessary for the argument at hand, what is justice? "Because what we are looking for seems to have been rolling around at our feet from the very beginning, and we didn't see it, which was

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