Evil, to some a sense of lacking goodness, or being justly immoral is a definition that has two significant meanings. The question that is posed before me is whether it can be “right to defend oneself against evil by doing evil”. The subject of this Essay is not the so-called definition of evil rather the, so unfortunately opposed argument to what an individual persons idea of what evil is. In class discussions about Socrates his philosophy was to lead a just life or merely good life by not committing any act against good. I believe that the question is a contradiction in itself.
I myself try and live a just life through the theories of Socrates by choosing the good way. The reason the question is contradicting itself is because you can’t commit an evil act to protect yourself on the basis that it goes against good therefore being considered evil. The analogy “two wrongs don’t make a right” is somewhat factual; although evil and good is a bipolar neither can be greater in power over the other. An example could be an ordinary housewife takes an axe, and gave her husband forty whacks.
Would the public forgive?Maybe the motive was that her husband had a history of destructive abuse by beating his wife. From a legal point of view she did a immoral act by taking the law into her own hands, yet could she be punished on the basis of in her mind she was giving him a moral punishment of evil. I have read in text that there are two types of evil “moral evil that it is product of evil from our own actions, non-moral evil as a product of chance or an act of god”. The verdict could come under intense scrutiny by the theories held by Socrates.
I do not believe the verdict can ever be held as being neither an act of evil, or good; nevertheless I am absolutely certain on my presumption that she is guilty, because I am finite and the true reality is infinite, that I can never be absolutely certain of anything being absolutely true. I believe there is truth to her verdict, except I do not believe I, or anybody for that matter that will ever be certain of it. In the text “Crito” recounts Socrates’ last days, immediately before his execution. As the text reveals, his friend Crito proposes to Socrates that he escape from prison.
In a dialogue with Crito, Socrates considers the proposal, trying to establish whether an act like that would be just and morally justified. Eventually, he came to argue that by rejecting his sentence and by trying to escape from prison he would commit unjust and morally unjustified acts. Therefore, he decided to accept his death penalty and execution. In my argument about Socrates not escaping I believe he became an accomplice in injustice against himself by accepting unjust laws that he knew were immorally wrong. I can state the question: To who does the legal obligation to carry out verdicts refers? I do not think that it referred to the citizens of Athens, but only to judges, and other representatives of the legal and executive power.
Since the majority of citizens did not have the right to participate in law, so the obligation to carry out verdicts could not refer to them. Since Socrates, as an ordinary citizen had a moral obligation to respect the laws of Athens by a social agreement held morally. He had not obliged himself to carry out verdicts; he was not obliged to respect unjust verdicts. He had only to respect just verdicts, because otherwise he would have broken the law to which he had obliged himself. In my personal opinion I stand with my argument that it can never be right to choose an evil action to defend against evil in itself.
Although I believe there are loopholes to that question as I explained in the text that if an act done against an individual that is unjust should come to scrutiny. At times I feel that an evil act can appear to be good in nature, yet when moral weight is added to the idea it’s foundation crumbles under questioning of that particular idea. Men fear death, as if unquestionably the greatest evil, and yet no man knows that it may not be the greatest good. “William Mitford”