“The Ring of Gyges.”

After reflecting on the course material, define “human” in one word. What one word best describes what it means to be a human being? After carefully and thoughtfully selecting your word or concept provide an explanation of why you choose this word. Why does the word you choose best capture the meaning of being “human?” Defend your response by drawing upon course material. (lecture notes: human nature and textbook link Ch. 6) (300 words) B. Read the following parable from Plato’s Republic titled “The Ring of Gyges. After reading the parable explore the question: why be moral? That is, suppose you could act immorally without fear of being caught, why should you still, nevertheless, act morally? Imagine for a moment that you were in possession of a magic ring, like the one found by Gyges. How would you use it? If you had a perfect guarantee that you would never be caught or punished for your actions, what would you do? In the parable by Plato, Glaucon claims that “those who practice justice (moral actions) do so involuntarily and because they have not the power to be unjust.” He goes to say that any person who had a magic ring could not “be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice (morality). No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with anyone at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men.” Is Glaucon correct? Is the fear of being found out, the only reason to act morally? Is there a more fundamental reason to be moral?

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