I was laying in my bed, wide awake Saturday night, not wanting to get out, lying to myself that Spring Break would never end. I scrolled through the internet, looking through articles that seemed interesting. One of the articles, you can read here, was especially enticing. It explained the story of the alleged roommate of one of the internet’s most notorious owner of drug-trafficking. He lived essentially a double-life: he was a normal guy, graduated from UT Austin, lived comfortably in his house in San Francisco; but when he was behind the computer, he went took on the role of the DreadPIrateRoberts, founder and admin of Silk Road, an underground black-market that oversaw the exchange of illicit drugs and other paraphernalia. Ultimately, he was figured out and is under control by the FBI. As stated in the article, it came as a shock to his roommate, his parents and now ex-girlfriend.
What I want to know is was it right for him to conceal, or lie in order for him to run his website? Since he was the head of the organization, I feel that he should take full blame for what he did, although lucrative, it was still illegal. I thought of Plato’s Republic, in which Plato described to Glaucon the Noble Lie, and that it was okay for government to lie to the people. In a way, I feel this might be the same case. He was the head of an organization, and in order to keep order in his life, created two identities for himself, one that he showed to the public, and the other behind the glow of the computer screen.
PhotoCredit to http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/warnerr/plato.htm
In an age in which freedom of expression is revered as an undeniable right, Socrates’ suggestions about education in The Republic seem to violate the basic principles of liberty and freedom. “Then we must first of all, it seems, supervise the storytellers. We’ll select their stories whenever they are fine or beautiful and reject them when they aren’t,”(377c) suggests Socrates. A modern-day person will most certainly brand this as unwarranted censorship. However, I believe that modern-day educators can learn something important from Socrates.
Childhood is a critical period in a person’s development. Values, principles, and habits developed in this period persist throughout a person’s lifetime. According to Socrates, “it’s at that time that it is most malleable and takes on any pattern one wishes to impress on it.”(377b) A child’s moral sense is not fully developed; he or she sometimes cannot distinguish the good from the bad. Consequently, it is completely logical and reasonable to expose children to the good and justice, and deny them access to the bad and evil. With the advent of the Internet, children can easily access billions of webpages, images, and videos. A child can easily pick up any bad habit or principle off the Internet; the opportunities are endless. As a result, carefully censoring the Internet for children is a necessity.
To rid the world of evil, you don’t work with adults who have already developed their values and principles, but with children who are developing theirs. The world would be a much better place if every single child was raised in an environment that promotes justice and goodness.
At this time last year, I was struggling to complete my college applications. I was was prompted to ask myself: what was I good at? What should I apply myself to? What would be my role in society? I didn’t know what to respond.
Socrates, on the other hand, has an answer these questions Continue reading →
Book II of Plato’s Republic includes a conversation between Glaucon and Socrates, in an attempt to the get to the heart of what justice/injustice is. To accomplish this, Socrates leads Glaucon down the concept of a city, and tangents off into explaining things that a city needs not only to be healthy, but luxurious as well(373b).
On explaining the role of guardians in a city, Socrates go Continue reading →
After reading the dialogue from Plato’s Republic, I have found myself disagreeing with certain aspects of Socrates’ arguments. Particularly, Socrates makes claims about people that are black and white, but in reality people tend to exist in the grey area. Continue reading →