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10.7: Rewards from Gods and Human Beings

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    94582
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    See 612a-614a. Socrates has argued, at length, that justice in the soul is desirable for its own sake, so desirable that it is enough to bring a person happiness. But as people who love their jobs ordinarily receive payment for their work, people who are just are ordinarily rewarded out of appreciation for their virtue. So, for instance, “if a just man falls into poverty or disease or some of the other things that seem bad, it will end well for him . . . surely the gods at least will never neglect anyone who eagerly wishes to become just and, by practicing virtue, to make himself as much like a god as a human being can.” Likewise, human beings generally reward just people (when recognized) with trust and respect, whereas unjust people (when recognized) are vilified and punished. Justice in the soul is therefore desirable for its consequences as well as for its own sake.

    • Would the gods reward a virtuous person if the person, being just, were already happy? If so, what would be the point?

    • How might a god reward a person who was already fully just? With friendship?


    This page titled 10.7: Rewards from Gods and Human Beings is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Douglas Drabkin.

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