The Good is not Limited to Perfection

Class Forums Government 2017-2018 Assignment 3 The Good is not Limited to Perfection

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      cqpittard01
      Participant

      In The Republic, Plato defines the Good as the ultimate form that all other objects and ideas aspire to. This would suggest that “the Good” is simply the perfect form that something can achieve. But Goodness reaches a deeper level than just perfection. Perfection is still a vital part of Goodness but that does not mean that Goodness is just limited to perfection.
      Plato identified three categories into which an object or idea can fit- something to be desired for its own sake, something to be desired for its end, and something to be desired for both. The ultimate Good, as identified by Plato is the complete end. Nothing can go beyond it to a better state. This is not the same as perfection, however. To say that perfection is equal to the ultimate Good would be a mistake, for the state perfection is defined by the object itself, and to what sate of perfection that object can reach. Goodness extends beyond that.
      The ultimate Good intertwines with desires. Man desires certain things, some he should desire and some he should not. Justice, love, and truth are things that he should desire for themselves and when they are wholly fulfilled in him, he has reached the ultimate Good in that sense. Therefore, the ultimate Good can be recognized in man. Ideas of this kind, virtues, cannot be warped into things that are not Good and still remain what they are (love cannot be warped into fleshly lust and still be considered love).
      This means that not all things can reach the state of ultimate Goodness just by being fulfilled in their ultimate form. There still exist evils. The things man should not desire, for example, are things which do not reach the ultimate Good. Obvious examples of this would be envy or revenge, for they counter the Good.
      The ultimate Good is not limited to perfection. It is something which is to be desired for itself, not for anything else, and it has to have reached that fulfilled and final state of Goodness.

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