why should we be just

Plato’s actual argument for /why/ we should be just suffers from a
fundamental misconception. He is always recommending justice from
/prudential/ considerations, i.e. we should be just because of our own
/best interest/, either to be happy (the main argument) or to avoid the
punishment of the gods (in the Myth of Er). If there is a difference
between moral and merely prudent action, however, Plato has misdirected
us. Instead, morality may require actions that are not in our
self-interest. This is agreed upon by Immanuel Kant
< http://www.friesian.com/moral-1.htm >, Confucius
< http://www.friesian.com/confuci.htm >, and even the /Bhagavad Gita/
< http://www.friesian.com/gita.htm >. Thus, Confucius holds that
righteouness, , is to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.
That is how Kant defined the “categorical imperative,” the moral command
(the imperative) that is to no ulterior purpose (i.e. it is
categorical). Similarly, the /Gita/ says, “Set thy heart upon thy work,
but never on its reward. Work not for a reward; but never cease to do
thy work” [2:47]. This might not satisfy Thrasymachus; but then, with
someone of that sort, while we may argue the issues, the ultimate point
is not alone to persuade him, but to stop him. That is the surest way to
prevent the tyrant from being happy.

[Plato’s Republic](http://www.friesian.com/plato.htm)

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