Plato's View on Capital Punishment
Plato’s view on capital punishment consists of his ideology that it shall only be used for the worst offenders, and in no other cases should it be imposed. Plato does not believe in the suffering of criminals as a price to pay for their crimes as he believed that the infliction of suffering, makes people worse than they already were. Plato holds the idea that capital punishment should be reserved for only the unrehabilitatable and should never be used with the “spirit of vengeance”. Those who are deemed curable should be held to alternative punishments for their crimes as to Plato, death is not considered to be an extreme penalty
Plato upholds that capital punishment should never be used with wrongful or vengeful intentions. Plato understands that “one cannot undo what has been done” meaning that with death one cannot take it back. If administered with the wrong intentions one may live to regret their decisions and will then have to live with the consequences and guilt of their misguided actions. Plato also believed that the decision to end one’s life should not only be looked at through the past inquires of a criminal. With a decision this big in the hands of a person or many, it is their responsibility to take all points into consideration so that there is no doubt in their final choice. If one acts too quickly on this choice and obtains a misguided judgment, then mistakes are made and wrongful executions occur. Plato acknowledges the difference between justice and revenge with the limits of anger. Revenge consists of intentionally causing hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands and the seeking of emotional satisfaction. With justice, there is a common struggle with retaliation since revenge put with anger is a reaction that tends to cause exaggerated suffering. With this Plato holds the belief that decisions holding this much power should be made by someone with a level head and no biases to ensure that the proper choice is made.
Plato believed that capital punishment should be reserved for the incurable and in no other way should it be administered. Plato states, “only when the criminal is deemed incurable and not anymore in a position to profit from reform, may he be used for deterrent purposes.” Plato understands that sometimes there are people who cannot be helped, especially if they do not wish it for themselves. He proceeds to say that in the case where someone is deemed incurable, it is in the best interests of everyone, themselves included, to no longer be able to live. Plato believed that in these cases where a person should be executed it would serve as a lesson to those around them to the consequences of these actions. That capital punishment would act as a deterrent from others acting in the same way as well as protecting society from these criminals. Plato knew that not all people could gain from rehabilitation, but also knew that there were some people who could, and believed those people should face alternative punishments for their crimes. However, those who could not be helped shall be executed in a just manner.
Plato believed that death was not to be considered an extreme penalty as alternative approaches could be worse in his eyes. Plato states, “Death, however, is not an extreme penalty: the sufferings said to be in store for these people in the world to come are much more extreme than that.” and, “I conclude, therefore, that the punishments men suffer for these crimes here on earth while they are alive should as far as possible equal the penalties beyond the grave.” This means that Plato considered death to be somewhat of an easy way out. It allows criminals to escape the sufferings of pain, guilt, regret, and more, that they would endure living with the consequences of their actions for the rest of their lives. However, he acknowledges that in cases where one is deemed incurable the path for them is clear within his eyes. The only answer for them is to no longer have the right to live. While Plato is opposed to retributive punishment, which is designed to make a criminal suffer for the price of their crimes, the suffering that he refers to here with being more extreme than death are those of a mental state. Meaning that internal pain of guilt, remorse, or any other emotions, could be all-consuming of one who is forced to live with the punishments of one’s actions. There is no extent of the feelings or emotions one feels within that correspond to the crime committed. They may feel nothing at all, they may feel it all too much. This to Plato is a distinguishing factor between the incurable and curable. Therefore, mental sufferings hold more penalty in Plato’s eyes than the sufferings of death, where one can escape what they would have had to come face to face with, with an escape route.
In conclusion, Plato believed that capital punishment should only be held within the hands of those who hold no vengeance, as that is the only way to assure just punishment. As well, he believed that there will always be criminals who simply cannot be helped with changing their violent tendencies and behaviors. In these cases, the only solution is for those criminals to no longer obtain the right to live. However, in the light of one being deemed curable through rehabilitation and education, alternative punishments should be administered. Finally, Plato acknowledges that in situations previously mentioned there is a need for capital punishment, yet he deems death to be insignificant compared to the sufferings that life has to offer for such criminals.
The drive behind Plato’s Allegory of the cave was to composed and demonstrate the impact of instruction and proceeds to investigate the subject of how nature is illuminated an unfazed. Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative alludes to directions that individuals must pay little mind to what their wants are. The ethical commitments individuals must pursue has gotten from the purpose. Kant’s contention for the Categorical Imperative is affected by Plato’s moral story of the cave. The focuses made by the detainees...
The Second Treatise of Government by John Locke and The Republic by Plato is historically significant philosophical and political theorists’ figures. John Locke greatly influenced the American Constitution based on ideas on liberal government. Plato expanded the ideas of his teacher Socrates and argued for justice and equality in a state system. Though these two theorists hold valuable ideas, they contain contrasting perspectives on how a government or city should be ruled and governed. While Locke believes that money/property is...
Philosophy is a way of thinking that attempts to make the connection between the nature of human thinking and the nature of the universe. Human character is built throughout life with the qualities that one embraces to strengthen one’s being. Plato (427-347 BCE) and Sophocles (496-406 BCE), were ancient Greek philosophers that sought to make sense of the world in an intellectual manner. Plato’s, Plato’s Republic: The Allegory of the Cave, and Sophocles’, The Antigone, summon one to give thought...
The aim of philosophy is to clarify the answer any question about life on this Earth. Philosophy is a tool to understand the reality and existence, and each philosopher has his own way to analyze it. In this essay, two important philosophy texts of philosophers Plato and Laozi are going to be compared which are Plato Cavern and Tao Te Ching. First, in terms of law, Plato tells us society will be served by its individuals, so Plato relied idealism...
There have always been various forms of government throughout society. People have been ruled by leaders, princes, and presidents. Certain philosophers such as Plato, Lao-Tzu, and Niccolo Machiavelli have proposed their views on how to show power. While Lao-Tzu and Plato had similar views compared to Machiavelli, they developed different actions when it came to people. The views of Plato, Lao-Tzu, and Machiavelli will develop the government as we know today. In this comparison, what do these three philosophers reveal...
Morality is the “differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal” (Medium). Throughout this course the theme of morality is brought up in readings read in this course like “The Trial and Death of...
In analyzing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, three primary spheres come into focus. The first encompasses the meaning of the allegory as a whole. Plato’s allegory is a complex text and what Plato is trying to say can easily be misconstrued. The second domain concerns the significance of the allegory. What does it show the reader and why is that important? Finally, the third sphere regards the contemporary utility of Plato’s allegory. More specifically, is Plato’s text still relevant in...
In this paper, I will argue that the views and arguments of Martin Luther King on disobeying unjust laws were more persuasive than the ideas that Plato presents through the words of Socrates in Crito. Laws in certain societies are more suitable for some citizens, but for other parts of society, they are found to be unjust. In the time periods of Plato and Martin Luther King, this was exactly the case, as the divides amongst people allowed there to...
Plato to Darwin to DNA highlights the different understandings of our natural world throughout history. Not only is the reader able to get a detailed view of each periods method of research and development of theories, but also is able to compare them with one another. The “scientific process” as we know today was incredibly different in the past, and explanations of our natural phenomenon were determined by direct observations and deep philosophical thought. The reader is also able to...
01 / 09
Fair Use Policy
EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.