PHL 204-07

Socrates v. Polus
1 Socrates’ long speech
2 power & oratory
3 is it worse to suffer an injustice than to commit one?

provide a clear example of injustice, in which 1 person commits it against another:

Jeffrey Dahmer (serial killer)
theft (shovel)

which is worse for you? to suffer the injustice or to commit it? imagine speaking to person on opposite view.

depends largely upon the nature of the injustice committed — in the case of murder, etc, it is worse to be murdered than to murder. given that one life is all that we have, the murderer has violated the natural right of the victim to live (natural rights in state of nature). The murderer may suffer guilt as a consequence, but the lingering emotional repercussions can do little but produce a psychological effect, depending of course upon the individual’s belief set.

in the instance of theft, it depends upon the motivation for theft and the nature of the victim. moral relativism, blah blah blah, but it’s true.

to suffer injustice
* causes psychological distress
* causes physical pain
* loses something of value
* undeserved pain = worse

to commit injustice
* you do not learn from it while the one who suffers does
* causes feelings of guilt, remorse, shame, paranoia
* could lead to punishments

* it is more shameful to commit an injustice than it is to suffer one
* X is more shameful than Y only if either X is worse than Y or X is more painful than Y
* committing an injustice is not more painful than suffering one
* therefore, committing an injustice is worse than suffering one


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