The Ring of Gyges: My Precious

In the Republic, the tale of the Ring of Gyges is told, revealing the possible nature for justice. The tale is more or less the same as in Lord of the Rings. A ring possesses powers that render the wearer invisible if worn the right way. This makes the wearer extremely powerful and able to get away with anything that they want. This power is too great for any individual or group of people. Everyone has there own idea of what is justifiable and what is not. We have not gotten to a point where what is just and what is not is universally agreed upon. We have different laws in different countries.

Some are contested and some are not. Different people disagree with different laws. This is because the idea of justice and what is right differs. Also, power is quickly able to corrupt and change the course of whatever path the powerful person is on. We as human beings are constantly rationalizing things to ourselves. It is human nature and we can rationalize a range of things; sometimes to our own downfall. Some individuals are so exceptional that they may not stray from their path; however they cannot escape the bias of their own opinion. All people decide for themselves what is right and wrong.

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There are many and varied universal standards, but when it comes down to how people act on a day to day basis, ideas right and wrong vary. What seems right to me may seem wrong to you. If someone were to be given the Ring of Gyges, they may think that all they do is just, but it is just in their minds. With the ring, if they chose to become a leader, there is the question of how much power a leader should have. It is apparent a leader with this ring would have almost endless power, but the extent which they use it varies. The ring would enable a leader to deceive the public, even though he, or she, may think it is in their best interest.

That does not mean it is in their best interest. One may say that certain individuals, like Gandhi, Lincoln, Socrates, or Jesus would be able to have the ring and not abuse its power. All human beings, however, maintain the bias of their opinions. Any of these people, in an effort to do what is right, may make undesired and unforeseen consequences; where as someone with limited power would be forced to look at consequences because there is only so much that they can do. The absence of something like the Ring of Gyges forces people to work together to achieve their goals and in doing so passes ideas through many filters and creates, opefully, leaders that are more accountable to the people. Corruption is common enough without the option of ultimate power. Power has a way of making people stray from a “good” path. As rational human beings we can try and figure out the world around us, but we also try and rationalize what we think to be right, as well as our actions. When people do something and they are not sure about the righteousness of their action, they start rationalizing. They may say; “that would’ve happened anyway,” or “it will benefit in the long run. People start to develop strong opinions and with the power of the ring, the opposition is rendered useless. With no counter arguments, people are not subjected to the ideas of their peers but instead subject their own ideas on everybody. The Ring of Gyges would be too powerful for any person. There are many noble and just people in this world, but they are still human. They are still subject to the same things that define us as human; opinion, ration, desire. Very few can quench their desires. Very few can be completely honest with themselves. But none can escape the power of opinion. Bibliography Plato, The Republic.

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