Plato: Meno

Some have a personal question: “What is good?”

There are things that people say in these times.

“God is good.”

God is good?”

“Is God good?”

But a number of us have often forgotten to consider the identity of “good”.

Is it a term, a aspect of moral, something about morale, an involvement with ethics, a measurement unit of popularity?

The instincts of an organism, at least carbon-based, set the organism in the behavioral manner and thought procession of measuring the attractiveness of something according to the benefits of applying the thing in consideration to its prospects of survival.

Independent minds are brought into the world of allegedly interconnected mostly thought-originated communications. However, humanity has found various problems, hindrances, and difficulties in the process of doing virtually anything. For example, one may have anything not limited to hallucinations, mirages, and mismatched senses. Some may smell scents when touching surfaces. Some may see colors when hearing sounds.

Under these conditions, one may not fully acknowledge the presence or existence of anything they believe to be interacting with. Because of this labyrinth of supposedly uneasily suspected and probable illusions, Rene Descartes concluded that he could only prove himself to be a being in the midst of all that has yet to be confirmed.

In arguments, opponents may not realize the things that they haven’t considered in their proposition during a debate; they might have forgotten to use or recognize their own faults or fallacies when they try to state their position on something of a matter.

One of Plato’s works, a dialogue between a character known as Meno and Plato, Plato begins by using the generic whole of a population of generally anything and asks Meno if there is anything that gradually progresses to some sort of conclusion regarding the allegedly existential identity of virtue. The progress approaches a seemingly ongoing path of ideas and thoughts that are considered, registered, processed, filtered, sifted, proven, and/or disproven. Not limited to beginning with the question of whether virtue can be taught, or the assertions/assumptions of what good might be in the eyes of a poet, Meno triggers strenuous explosions of detailed logic from one question’s applications and constraints, and strives for the possible relief of satisfying implosions of aggressively detailed logic nearly into the form one-unit mathematical equations. Finally, Meno uses references of what has become arbitrary or stereotypically expected of men, women, children, and the poor. In the past, it was widely accepted as correct and justified for men to work and run the government, while the women would do housework, prepare and serve food and drinks, and the children held in obedience to regulate the factor of supposedly existent chaos.

They reach disputable points where they seem to blindly suggest that rulers and/or dictatorships could be the ultimate solution, although the mood between them seems to be anticlimactic immediately after a possible subclimax/miniature turning point.

There is probably at least one place, a clearing in the Hundred Acre Wood, where readers can counter both speakers’ platforms of experimentally established beliefs. One may notice that Plato has been consistently using numerous analogies of various collectively categorized objects that each broadly variate in the subtleness of their differences from each other.

However, the whole or the majority is not always right, correct, or justified (mind the fallacies that wholes and majorities that each may not suspect or notice but have). Take natural selection for instance. At times, a few groups or individuals have undergone certain mutations that allow them to better survive in nature by serving as either exclusive or nonexclusive adaptation. The majority or majorities are vanished, but the minority persist and/or prevail. There is another counterargument that be merely simplified into one word: Extinctions. The faulty action(s) of one population/collective group can instantaneously endanger and/or virtually delete itself from a chance a survival in their wake or lack of registering of the resources around them that might benefit their . . . . self-interest-guided idea of what is good.

In the movie, “The Great Debaters”, the debaters of Wiley College were attempting to counter the debaters of Harvard University in their beliefs regarding civil disobedience in a time of rabid discrimination. One of the Wiley College debaters angrily mentioned the negative aspects of majorities in terms of humanity in its pettily ego-fueled self-search for the conclusive state of absentminded discrimination following its identity as a source-turned side-effect of war (Wars adding to the triangular colonial trade and then the Civil War in America).

People might desire to keep something “pleasantly” in accordance with their religious views, while explaining everything in the matter with the simple “just-world hypothesis” and assumption/usurpation of entitlement (almost as if to lose as clearly as one could lose, yet call/shout to the heavens an apparent triumph and victory). But their actions force their beliefs to become their religion without any regard for history.

Just like institutionalized education, which somehow happened to manage well (branding educational sources – the baneful aspects/effects/face/side of economically utilizing competition) in making pupils strain great heaps of effort that can only afford them to pass a class/course subject, Knowledge became abstract biochemical software coding that comes hastily without any regard for history.

And if one tries to ask to confirm any regard for history, the answer comes with angry thoughts and possible misunderstandings that one might be insulting the knowledge and reputability/reliability of the person who being asked.

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